The report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Gallup, an American global research company, on March 8 to mark the International Women’s Day reveals striking data on Turkish women’s and men’s perceptions and attitudes on women and work.
The Gallup survey was conducted in 2016 in 142 countries and territories and surveyed almost 149,000 adults. It is representative of more than 99 per cent of the global adult population. It is the first global poll ever that shows women’s and men’s attitudes and perceptions regarding women and work.
“Proportion of women in Turkey who want to work is much above world average”
The report titled “Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men” shows majority of women in Turkey want to be employed in paid jobs confirming to the overall tendency in the World. According to the report, while 70 per cent of women globally want to work in paid jobs, this rises up to 87 per cent in Turkey.
“This is well above the world average”, said Numan Özcan, ILO Director in Turkey, “Data shows that a very significant part of women wants to work in paid jobs.”
“Family-work balance policies are necessary for women’s employment”
According to the report, while 53 per cent of women in Turkey prefer conditions in which they can both work and take care of family and household, the world average in this is 41 per cent.
Özcan: “Working women in Turkey spare five times longer time than men to household affairs and care of family members. The survey shows that despite this extra workload more than half of women in Turkey still want to have jobs and keep fulfilling their family responsibilities at the same time. There is an important opportunity for women’s participation to labour force and an economically stronger country in case this tendency is supported by policies conciliating work and family life.”
In Turkey 88 per cent of respondents stated positive opinion as to women’s participation to labour force. 92 per cent of women and 84 per cent of men support women’s preference of having a paid job out of family life. 11 per cent of survey respondents are against it.
Women do not want to sit at home and engage in care work only
In Turkey only 1 in every 10 women prefers to stay home just for family and household care whereas it is 2 in every 10 women globally.
In Turkey, 28 per cent of men support women’s work in paid jobs, 32 per cent prefer them stay at home, and 34 per cent prefer them both having paid jobs and taking care of family. At global level 28 per cent of men want women in their families to have paid jobs, 29 per cent think women should not work only in paid jobs, and 38 per cent say women should be able to do both.
Majority think there are equal opportunities
64 per cent of respondents to the survey in Turkey think women with the same educational background and experience as men have similar or better opportunities in working life while 29 per cent state that women have relatively more limited opportunities.
There is gap between men and women in positively perceiving women’s employment
As far as positive outlook to women’s work in paid jobs is concerned there is a significant gap between men and women in Turkey. While 87 per cent of women want to have a paid job, only 62 per cent of men support women’s work in such jobs.
Özcan continued: “In other words, there is 25 percentage points of difference between men and women who support women’s employment whereas this difference is as small as 4 percentage points globally. Data provided by the report shows that such a large margin is observed, besides Turkey, in countries like Kuwait, Thailand, Libya, Egypt and Iran.”
Working women in Turkey point out to “unfair treatment” at workplace and “work/family balance” as most serious challenges they face
As challenges most difficult to cope up with working women in Turkey first refer to “unfair treatment” at workplace, and secondly to striking “work/family balance”.
Young women in Turkey want to work more than their peers in the world
As to youth’s perception of women’s work 95 per cent of young women in the age group 15-29 support women’s participation to working life.
Özcan said this is a figure well above the world average which is 77 per cent indicating that “In Turkey, young women’s preference to work is higher than their peers in other parts of the world.”
According to the survey, 19 per cent of women in Turkey have full-time jobs, 8 per cent are employed part-time, 12 per cent are looking for jobs, and 61 per cent are not.
“There is reform and policies, but not sufficient”
In relation to the state of women’s employment in Turkey in the light of survey results, Özcan pointed out to significant legislative reforms promoting gender equality in working life taking place since early 2000s and to comprehensive policies developed to promote women’s employment.
“However, looking at data related to women’s employment, their participation is still low given that they constitute a half of population. This situation clearly shows that there is need for further efforts to close the gender gap in working life.”
For Gallup Report: http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_546256/lang–en/index.htm