Turkey’s family minister discusses female poverty
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyTurkish Family Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu has blamed early marriage, underemployment and a lack of access to education for female poverty.
Ramazanoğlu was speaking at a “gender justice” congress held in Istanbul on March 3, a week before International Women’s Day on March 8, with activities focusing on women’s achievements and difficulties in economic, political and social life.
The Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) worked with Istanbul Trade University to organize a second gender justice congress under the theme of “Women and Poverty.”
“Poverty is not only an economic problem, but a problem that deeply affects society, socially and psychologically,” said KADEM President Sare Aydın Yılmaz.
She said poverty very often underlies many other problems women face.
One of the reasons why poverty is “a humanitarian problem” is that women are deprived an economic life the most, Yilmaz believes.
In Turkey, female labor force participation is on an upward trend, reaching 31.8 percent in October 2015 with an increase of 0.9 points when compared to the same period in 2014.
According to data from “Woman in Turkey, August 2015,” a report from the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, this rate was 23.3 percent in 2004 and 26 percent in 2009.
However, this increase in women’s participation in labor “might result in a more anxious generation” if women are not supported in balancing their family life with their professional life, Yılmaz added.
She shared a recent study by the association, which showed that over 50 percent of the women complained about difficulties in managing family life, work commitments and career advancement at the same time.
“Leaving them alone with the responsibilities at home and pushing them into a competitive environment at work is not fair,” Yılmaz said.