Seminars in gender equality carried out under the project “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Jobs in Turkey” implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office in Turkey continued with employees from HAK-İŞ Confederation in Ankara on 10 February 2017.
Seminars in gender equality are conducted under the title “I Support Equality” and delivered to both women and men in working life through an interactive method. In these seminars, participants are informed about and encouraged to discuss such concepts and themes as gender, gender roles, consequences of gender inequality and effects on working life as well as best practices from Turkey and other parts of the world.
Speaking at the seminar which attracted a great deal of interest from HAK-İŞ personnel and members, project coordinator Ebru Özberk Anlı said, “Women’s participation to working life is vital and critical in terms of both enablement in standing on own foot and mitigating poverty.”
Mahmut Arslan, President of HAK-İŞ Confederation pointed out to many difficulties that women face at home, workplaces and trade unions including, in particular, working women who are also unionists.
“They had to overcome many obstacles even to attend today’s seminar… We are sure that these obstacles will be eliminated upon the determined struggle of women and we support this struggle of women with our women’s committees. Presently women make up 25 per cent of our membership, but it is too low and we want to bring it up.”
Fatma Yavuz, the HAK-İŞ Women’s Committee Chair said they will continue to support these seminars and the project, and to take active parts in relevant processes.
Nigar Etizer Karacık, the trainer from the Women’s Human Rights: New Solutions Association (KİH-YÇD) mentioned that changes in gender roles took place in social and economic structures in the course of time in the seminar which is delivered by the Association as part of the project implemented with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Karacık said, “For instance, only women used to take care of children earlier. Now there are many men spending more time with their children. Children make their future expectations higher when they see their mothers working”.
In the seminar, there was also a group work on the theme of women’s and men’s equal utilization of social resources.
Through enhancing awareness in gender equality at workplaces, seminars aim to safeguard the rights of workers more effectively and to help institutions create fairer, safer and more productive working environments through mainstreaming gender equality in policies and activities.
By working with municipalities, trade unions and private sector, seminars also support capacity building in institutions cooperated with, and strengthen employees by making them sensitive about issues related to gender equality and equality at workplaces.