Half of women in Turkish labor force unregistered
Half of the women in Turkey’s labor force are unregistered, Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) Chairman Tarkan Kadooğlu said at a summit organized in partnership with U.N. Women and the UNDP on Oct. 19 in Istanbul, while urging that Turkey must raise women’s participation in the workforce to ensure sustainable development
“The ratio of unregistered women workers in our country is much higher than that of men. According to data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute [TÜİK], half of the women in the labor force are unregistered,” Kadooğlu said at the summit, a platform gathering experts who aim to help enforce women’s participation in all areas of life and to eliminate gender inequality.
It is not possible for Turkey to maintain sustainable development without enabling further female participation in the labor force, Kadooğlu said, adding that Turkey is the only country in Europe with an employment rate among women lower than 40 percent.
About 30 percent of the economic loss is observed in countries that lack a “woman’s touch” in its workforce, Kadooğlu added, citing information he obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“It is clear why our country needs to move on its sustainable development efforts, as by 2050, a $12 trillion addition to the world economy is predicted upon maintaining gender equality,” the TÜRKONFED head added.
As U.N. Turkey Resident Coordinator Irena Vojackova Sollorano conveyed that the U.N. sees gender inequality as a global problem as well as a human rights issue, she said it is crucial for governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to work in cooperation to tackle the issue.
The summit with the theme “Women’s Role in the Sustainable Development Movement Summit,” attended by Development Minister Lütfi Elvan and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, also became a platform to discuss how the private sector would benefit from such developments upon enforcing them.
“The private sector, which plays a crucial role in helping establish Sustainable Development Objectives, can help enforce women in the workforce by supporting them with recruitment and promotion policies,” U.N. Women Empower Women and Central Asia Regional Coordinator Meral Güzel said.
Women and girls’ empowerment will act as a multiplier in economic expansion and development in all areas of life, Güzel added.
One suggestion to help improve this situation in Turkey came from another TÜRKONFED senior, Yasemin Açık.
“As of 2015, 1.12 million women cannot join the workforce to take care of another. High daycare prices and the quality of the daycares block their way in joining the workforce. These expenses could be included with the Social Security Institution [SGK] coverage, as it is in many developed countries,” Açık said.