KARSAN and ILO Take Action for Gender Equality at Work!

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KARSAN, Turkey’s local producer of commercial vehicles that marks half a century of its foundation, and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations’ (UN) specialised agency for the world of work, are taking an exemplary step to promote gender equality. In this context, KIRAÇA Holding, KARSAN and ILO signed a protocol on 25 July 2019 in Bursa to promote gender equality and women’s employment. The protocol envisages that improvement plans be prepared to enhance gender equality at KARSAN. Making a statement on the matter, Mr. İnan Kıraç, Chairperson of KIRAÇA Holding Board of Directors, said: “It is essential to increase women’s employment for Turkey to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” Mr. Okan Baş, CEO of KARSAN said: “Our standard bar for achievement rises every day through efforts and abilities of our women.” Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, said: “This collaboration with KARSAN is a very important step for increasing women’s employment and empowerment in the world of work in Turkey.”

KARSAN continues to undersign exemplary works through strategic cooperation and initiatives. By its recent partnering up with ILO, KARSAN prepares to start an initiative that will be exemplary for other enterprises to promote gender equality. In that context, KIRAÇA Holding, KARSAN and ILO signed a protocol to promote gender equality and women’s employment.

“Sustainable development only possible by empowered women”

Making a statement on the matter, Mr. İnan Kıraç, Chairperson of KIRAÇA Holding Board of Directors, emphasised that women’s participation in the world of work was extremely important for individual and societal development. Kıraç said: “If women are empowered, the society is empowered; sustainable development is only possible by empowered women. It is essential to increase women’s employment for Turkey to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We as KIRAÇA adopt this approach and support women’s empowerment in the world, at work and in social life.”

Mr. Okan Baş, CEO of KARSAN, underlined that sustainable development in economy and social life was only possible by active participation of women in all spheres of life. Baş said: “Under the ‘Pozitif Kariyer’ (positive career) programme of our enterprise in 2018 that charted the course of career for our employees, our women employees held 50% of managerial roles. The contribution by our women to our company through their efforts and abilities pushes up our standard bar of achievement higher every day.”

An important step in Turkey!

Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, said: “The activities envisaged under the protocol which we signed with KARSAN and KIRAÇA Holding, leading companies of the Turkish economy to promote gender equality at enterprises represent an important step for women’s empowerment in Turkey. Aiming to promote gender equality at work, the protocol fully conforms to the global mandate of ILO to achieve decent working conditions. I congratulate KARSAN and KIRAÇA Holding for their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and responsiveness to promoting women’s employment through this collaboration with the United Nations. I hope the good practices to be achieved in this process will extend to other sectors as well.”

The “ILO Gender Equality Model for Enterprises” to be implemented at KARSAN under the “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey Programme” implemented by ILO with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) aims to prepare improvement plans for enhancing women’s employment. Under the model, improvement plans will be prepared on such matters as equal voice, equal pay for work of equal value, violence-free work, and work-life balance for achieving gender equality and increasing women’s employment at enterprises. It is expected, by the end of a year-long implementing period, to create good practices which will guide not only in the metal sector in Bursa but also all sectors in Turkey.

A Monitoring Committee to be established!

With the implementation of the model, an Enterprise Improvement Team (EIT) will be established comprising of equal numbers of women and men at management and production levels at the enterprise. The Team is to prepare work plans for achieving gender equality and increasing women’s employment and support the implementation of such plans. In addition, comprehensive training will be delivered by ILO to enterprise employees on workplace practices that promote women’s employment and gender equality, thereby contributing to gender equality not only in the enterprise, but also across the whole society. In addition, a “Monitoring Committee” will be established consisting of representatives of ILO, KARSAN and KIRAÇA Holding. The Committee will, upon completion of the model’s initial implementation, sustain and roll out the model to KARSAN and all companies under KIRAÇA Holding.