According to President of the Initiative for Women's Labour and Employment (KEİG) Şemsa Özar, Turkish men bring up the rear compared to their international fellows when it comes to helping their wives at home.
At the "EU Accession Process and Women's Employment" conference organized by the Diyarbakır Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DTSO) and the European Union (EU) Information Centre Özar said, "When I compared 24-hour-days in the lives of men and women I came to the following result: In Turkey on average men work five hours and 18 minutes per day, women six hours 25 minutes. So the contribution of women to Turkey's social production is higher than that of men, but at the same time women are not paid the corresponding countervalue. While men in EU countries spend an average time of more than two hours per day for home care in the household, Turkish men spend a meagre 43 minutes respectively".
"66 percent of women work off the record"
Özar pointed out that women's employment in Turkey is far behind other countries:
"Statistics reveal that 12 million women in Turkey claim to be housewives. 5 million women are employed compared to 15 million men in labour. 39 percent of these women are unpaid family workers, 66 percent work off the record lacking any kind of social security. In a country with a population of 72 million people the number of working women in non-agricultural sectors amounts to a mere 2.3 million".
Ensarioğlu: 39.7 percent of women fit to work are illiterate
According to the presentation of DTSO Chairman M. Galip Ensarioğlu, 92 percent of employable women in the cities of Diyarbakır and Şanlıurfa in south-eastern Turkey are unemployed. This is not even half of the EU target of the women's employment rate.
"The most crucial reason for such a low women's employment rate is their level of education", Ensarioğlu explained. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) concerning 2008, 15.8 percent of the female population is illiterate, compared to 4percent of all males, Ensarioğlu indicated.
The DTSO chairman continued, "39.7 percent of all women fit to work in Diyarbakır are illiterate. The rate of illiterate men in the same age group lies at 12 percent", less than a third of the women's share.
"Measures taken only upon request of EU institutions"
Women Entrepreneurs of Turkey (KAGİDER) President Gülseren Onanç said that Turkey does not pursue sound policies on women's entrepreneurship. Onanç expounded that despite efforts of women institutions action against women's unemployment is only being taken upon the request of EU institutions.
Radikal newspaper writer Funda Özkan pointed out that women are mainly working within professional areas like hairdressers, waitresses, tailors or in child care.
Possible implementations to increase women's employment in the region were discussed in the third session of the meeting. (BB/VK)