Women’s Labor Participation in Turkey: Update

Turkey’s female labor force participation rate in 1990 was 34%, in 2014 29% (World Bank).

The following is from the Turkish Statistical Institute (see this link for other interesting indicators for women’s lives, including literacy rates, marriage age, income disparity, household labor, violence, political participation):

Female employment rate was half of male employment rate

In Turkey the employment rate of population aged 15 and over was 45.5%; this rate was 64.8% for males and 26.7% for females in 2014.

Labour force participation rate of educated women was higher

In Turkey, labour force participation rate of population aged 15 and over was 50.5%, this rate was 71.3% for males and 30.3% for females in 2014.

When labour force participation rate by education status was investigated, it was seen that the higher education status of women, more women participate in labor force. The participation rate was 16% for illiterate women, 25.8% for women graduated less than high school, 31.9% for women graduated from high school, 39.8% for women graduated from vocational high school and 71.3% for women graduated from higher education.

The following is from Hurriyet Daily News 9/18/16 by Emine Kart, “Turkey’s first action plan on women’s employment launched”. (Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original study on ISKUR’s website.)

According to a regular household women’s labor force survey conducted by Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) Directorate-General, 7 percent of women in the country who do not participate in the labor force are ready to work but are not actively searching for jobs.

Of the total number of women not participating in the labor force, 1.3 percent have “lost hope” of finding employment, while 57.3 percent cite being busy with housework.

In terms of work status, most women (61.7 percent) are employed in return for wages or daily pay, while 1.2 percent are employers. Of women who are informally employed, 56.8 percent are unpaid household laborers, while 26.9 percent work for a wage or daily pay.


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