Mar 06 2019

Turkey lags behind EU, OECD countries with 29 percent of women in workforce – study

Three out of every 10 women are part of the workforce in Turkey, which lags far behind OECD and EU countries in female representation in the workplace, according to a report by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) published on Wednesday.

A total of 29.1 percent of Turkish women are in the workforce, compared to the EU average of 45.9 and OECD average of 44.4 percent as of November 2018, independent news site T24 cited the DİSK report as saying.

The report which was prepared based on data from the likes of Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), OECD, the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), found that pay inequity in Turkey is 20.9 percent, while in countries with higher per capita income such as Portugal, England and France, this figure is 15.5 percent.

While unemployment for the country’s women hit 15 percent in 2018, during which Turkey saw an economic crisis triggered by a large slide in the lira, unemployment for men was 11.2, it found.
The number of women labourers who work more than 45 hours a week was 2,774,000 in 2014, and this number rose to 2,974,000 in 2017, the study found.

A large percentage of women who work more than 45 hours a week are getting paid under the table with off-the-record jobs, the DİSK report said, while noting that Turkey saw a 57 percent increase in the number of women applying for unemployment insurance in 2018.

Some 87 percent of women in Turkey have said they want paid employment, according to the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO). Women’s employment surpasses men’s only in the farming and the services industry where 55 percent of women make up the workforce.
Nineteen percent of all Turkish women with a job work part-time versus 6.5 percent of men, the ILO reported in 2018.

The government has said it is looking to increase women’s employment rate in Turkey to at least 41 percent by 2023 and decrease illegal labour by women to at least 30 percent.