Women in northwestern Turkey sweating to earn living in carpentry
BURSA - Anadolu Agency
Women use their skills to create wooden boxes that are then used to transport fruit and vegetables. AA photoWomen in the northwestern district of İznik are helping bring in cash to the family home by working in a sector that has traditionally been the purview of men in Turkey: carpentry.
The women working to produce boxes in the district’s Mahmut Çelebi neighborhood, where most of the sawmill ateliers are located, use their skills to create wooden boxes that are then used to transport fruit and vegetables.
In the neighborhood, which is known for its carpenters and carpenter shops, one inevitably finds women attempting to earn their daily wage amid the sawdust.
Keeping the nails between their lips, women produce boxes rapidly thanks to their many years of experience.
One of the female workers in an atelier, Yasemin Cengiz, said she had been married for 23 years and had two children. She said she got into the business 22 years ago to support her husband, adding that their only purpose was to raise their children and give them a chance to find a good job.
Noting that her living conditions were difficult, Cengiz said: “One of my children is attending university. The other is in high school. The money my husband earns is not enough for us to get by on.”
70 liras for 200 boxes
Cengiz said being a carpenter was a hard job for women, while adding that most of those helping produce boxes in İznik were women.
Boxes are generally produced by a whole family, she said. “The stages of this job are not easy. It also takes time to learn how to do it. … The more boxes we produce a day, the more we earn. We send these boxes, which are used to carry fruits and vegetables, to the fruit and vegetable markets in cities such as Ankara, Eskişehir and Antalya. We can produce 450-500 boxes a day when work is good. I can produce 125 boxes a day on my own but there are some workers who can produce 200 boxes a day. The daily wage of a worker is some 70 Turkish Liras. The daily wage of an average worker is not less than 50 liras.”