It conducts a large variety of activities with the objective of protecting women's rights, of strengthening the position of women in social, economic, cultural and political life, and of providing the equal utilization of rights, opportunities and capacities.
Since the 1990s, feminist discourse has become institutionalized, with the foundation of women's studies centers and university programs at universities such as Marmara University or as Istanbul University.
Women in Turkey also face significant disparities in employment, and, in some regions, education.
The acceptance of women's issues as an independent political and planning problem was discussed for the first time in the Fifth Five Year Development Plan (1985–1990), and "the General Directorate for the Status and Problems of Women" was established as a national mechanism in 1990.
The General Directorate, which was connected to the Prime Ministry in 1991, has been carrying out its activities under the responsibility of a State Ministry.
These campaigns arose due to women's wish to reject the traditional patriarchal code of ethics, honor, and religion which left men to decide the fate of the female body.
The second wave of the women's movement in Turkey reached a wider and more diverse group of women than the first women's movement.
During the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, educated women within the elites of Istanbul began to organise themselves as feminists.
With the Tanzimat reforms, improving women's conditions was considered as part of a wider modernisation effort. They fought to increase women's access to education and paid work, to abolish polygamy, and the peçe, an Islamic veil.
The role of women in contemporary Turkey is defined by an ongoing gender equality struggle, contributing elements of which include predicate conditions for EU membership candidacy, prevalent political tides that favour restrictive patriarchal models, and woman's rights activism.
Women in Turkey continue to be the victims of rape and honor killings; furthermore research by scholars indicate widespread domestic violence in Turkish population.
Early feminists published woman magazines in different languages and established different organizations dedicated to the advancement of women.
The first women's association in Turkey, the Ottoman Welfare Organization of Women, was founded in 1908 and became partially involved in the Young Turks Movement.
The Turkish feminist movement began in the 19th century during the decline of the Ottoman Empire.