Based on the statistical data of Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), OECD, EOROSTAT, ILO and Turkish Ministry of Labour, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey analysed the employment conditions of women in Turkey. The research report revealed striking data on the integration of women in labour processes and their level of organisation in labour unions.
According to the research report, the labour force participation rate of women in Turkey is low, and their employment rate is unsatisfying. With 33,8 percent employment rate of women, Turkey ranks quite below the rate of OECD and EU countries. In 2016, this rate was 51,9 percent for OECD countries, 46 percent for EU countries and 32,5 percent for Turkey.
With a percentage of 29,3, only three women in ten are working in Turkey, the report says, adding that this is a result of the inadequacy of female employment policies in Turkey and the socially inflicted roles upon women. For example, more than 11 million women say that they are not able to work because of household chores. While the employment rate of women in OECD countries was 44,4 percent, and 45,9 in EU countries in 2016, this rate was 63 percent in Turkey.
The report also revealed that almost half of the women are informally employed in Turkey, which is the most important challenge women face in work life. According to the data of November 2017, 43 percent of working women are employed informally. This causes women being deprived of some basic rights like health insurance and retirement rights.
Female unemployment, in general, has reached up to 3 million in 2017, the report reveals. This number equals to 13,4 percent, which is above the rates of OECD and EU countries. In OECD countries, the rate of female unemployment was 6,4 percent. In EU countries, on the other hand, it is 8,8 percent.
Young women are the population most influenced by unemployment. The rate of young women unemployment shows an accelerating trend, rising up to 25 percent in 2017 from 20 percent in 2014. While this rate was 13,6 in OECD countries in 2014, rising up to 17,9 percent in 2016, it was 21,4 percent in EU countries in 2014, falling down to 12,5 percent in 2016.
The unemployment rate among university graduate women is four times greater than the rates of EU and OECD countries. According to the data of 2016, unemployed university graduate women rate was 16,9 in 2016. This rate was 4,9 in OECD countries, and 5,6 in EU countries.
While more than a million women work more than 45 hours a week, the report says, around 87 percent of women working 1-16 hours a week and 67 percent of women working 17-35 hours a week are informally employed.
The data on the organisation of women in labour unions reveal that 8,1 percent of women are organised in unions as of 2018. This rate falls down to 6 percent when informally employed women are also included in the analysis. The male dominant policies of labour unions, gender-based roles and responsibilities, and inadequacy of female employment are listed as the factors influencing the unionisation rate of women workers.