Only a quarter of women in Turkey in employment


According to a study on women’s employment and insecurity carried out by the Research Institute of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (D?SK-AR), less than 25% of women in Turkey’s urban areas are in work. While the nationwide average is 26.7%, in the cities only 23% of women are employed. According to the study, the proportion of women in the black economy is higher than that of men, while 90% of the unemployed are women. Union representatives in Adana assessed the results of the study.

Women not in work

D?SK Çukurova Region Representative Kemal Arslan said: “women used to dominate the textile sector. In this region 70% of those working in the textile industry were women. Now that this sector has almost disappeared in Turkey 80 to 90% of women have lost their jobs.”

The oppressed of the oppressed

Adana Industrial Workers’ Association Executive Committee  member Zuhal Suba?? said that when it came to redundancies women were always the first to go, emphasising that women tended to work in unskilled, small scale sectors, or in insecure jobs where there was little technological input, or in the black economy. Suba?? added: “In the capitalist system based on production for profit, women are the ‘oppressed of the oppressed’, suffering double exploitation and discrimination in social life. It is also difficult for women who have to take responsibility for housework and childcare being employed long term. Furthermore, women are deemed to be ‘housewives’ and are not included in the unemployment statistics.”

Flexible working

Suba?? emphasised that the AKP government was not interested in improving employment for women, saying that the ‘women’s employment package’ had intensified exploitation. She added: “With models of flexible working they claim they are increasing employment opportunities for women, but in reality they have made it easier and cheaper for bosses to exploit the labour of women”.

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