Women most critical factor for 2023 targets

Women most critical factor for 2023 targets

Turkey absolutely has to make a new leap to meet its 2023 targets. When we talk to any government official or any high bureaucrat, everybody agrees on this and everybody has a list in their hands where what needs to be done is listed one by one according to their jurisdiction.

Yesterday, at the opening of Forum Istanbul, as its president, Yavuz Canevi, emphasized, “Now, the countdown for 2023 has started. The place we want to reach in the global ranks is not only a number.”

If we are to become the 10th biggest economy, then we need to fill the inside of it with a justly distributed welfare level, a healthy rule of law and a democracy containing fundamental rights and freedoms.

The most critical link women

General manager Tolga Ulutaş of Accenture Turkey, one of the forum’s strategic partners, spoke very clearly at the opening: “We are a global consultancy and technology firm of 260,000 people. Our job is collecting information. In Turkey with our 550-person team, we conduct over 1,000 macro and over 2,000 sector surveys annually. In 2023, there will be 3 million more families added to the existing households and [they] will have an annual income of over 30,000 dollars. At the top of the issues Turkey needs to solve during this process is the inclusion of women into the business world. We are trying to move a 4x4 vehicle by means of a 2x4. We need to upgrade it to a 4x4.”

Mentor for female employees

Another strategic partner, Doğuş Group, is one of the groups leading in the effort to include women in the business world. Its CEO, Hüsnü Akhan, with the “Equality at Work Platform” set up together with the Family and Social Policies Ministry, is raising awareness in company policies in favor of women. Akhan said, in this process, they have started conducting coaching and mentoring trainings especially for women employees of Doğuş Group.

It is only a dream to reach the targets of 2023 unless women, who make up half of our population, make a contribution to economic life as much as the other half of the population. Fortunately, the rate of those among the actors in the economy who have recognized this fact is increasing every day.

Thanking Faruk Çelik

Meanwhile, I had mentioned before that the majority of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Cabinet ministers were spiritually and mentally against women participating in the workforce, and I had cited Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik as an example.

An explanation came from Çelik that made me happy. I was happy because it was not only me but also two other writer friends from daily Milliyet who had the same impression that the labor minister’s personal opinion was that women should stay at home after the conversation with him.

The statement read, “You have mentioned in your column referring to me that a woman’s essential duty was motherhood and organizing the family and that my personal opinion was that women should not work. One of the duties of the labor and social security ministers of the Republic of Turkey is to increase employment. As you may remember, I drew attention to two factors in the female employment encouragement conversation. The first one was the significance of women in maintaining the integrity of the family; the second one was the responsibility of women in the raising of healthy generations.”

“In the relevant conversation, I said people regardless of their age and position would consult to their mothers whenever in stress and regard mothers as a safe haven. Considering this fact, I expressed that women should be supported in employment and said my personal opinion that this could be supported by half-time working models. I said, thus, the woman, alongside working, would be able to spend the rest of her time with her children at home. I did not say that women should stay at home and not work.”

Meral Tamer is a columnist for daily Milliyet, in which this piece was published on May 8. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.

MERAL TAMER - mtamer@milliyet.com.tr