The ‘First Action Plan on Women’s Employment in Turkey’ developed to support policies geared to creating decent jobs for women and activities of İŞKUR in this field and to contribute to women’s participation to employment was introduced to the public at a meeting held in Ankara on 17 May 2016.
The plan suggests actions related to two basic objectives as building occupational skills and job orientation to enhance women’s employment, improving access to labour markets. The Action Plan was developed under the project “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey” implemented jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and İŞKUR with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Referring to policy documents prepared earlier in Turkey, ILO Representative in Turkey Numan Özcan said, “As to the Action Plan developed under our project, it is a policy document consisting of operational and feasible actions with a scope observing and complementing objectives related to women’s employment in earlier documents.”
“The Action Plan developed with the technical support of ILO-Turkey is also distinct as a consensus document adopted by all relevant parties through an exemplary case of social dialogue.”
As the first action plan in Turkey specifically focusing on women’s employment, it will be implemented in the period 2016-2018 by İŞKUR, the lead public agency in the field of employment and working life.
Speaking at the meeting Peter Svensson Kemeny, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of Swedish Mission in Turkey said, “As SIDA we are aware of the importance of this national action plan since it will definitely strengthen gender equality and support women in developing their skills and having decent jobs in Turkey.”
Cafer Uzunkaya, İŞKUR Deputy General Director said, “With the project ‘More and Better Jobs for Women’ and the Action Plan we stress once more that we attach great importance to gender equality and women’s participation to labour force on the basis of the slogan ‘We are equal and together’ in all our services and projects.”
Giving information about the content, process of preparation and objectives of the Action Plan, İŞKUR Head of the Department of Foreign Relations and Projects Aşkın Tören stressed that the plan was developed, on the basis of the principle of decent work, to bring gender equality perspective to İŞKUR support to employment and to mainstream gender equality in all activities. Tören also noted that as an inclusive and sustainable work, the plan was a product of social dialogue and joint work.
The action plan was developed by the National Technical Team (NTT) composed of representatives from İŞKUR, various governmental agencies, civil society organizations, and workers’ and employers’ organizations in the period June 2014-December 2015 through series of meetings, international working visits and trainings.
Other policy documents developed earlier that refer to women’s employment as one of the policy priorities of Turkey and set forth targets and activities in this field include National Employment Strategy, 10th Development Plan and Family and Social Policies Ministry’s Gender Equality Action Plan.
During the meeting there was also a small discussion moderated by Ozan Çakmak from ILO where the members of NTT shared their experiences in developing the Action Plan.