The Home-Based Working Women 2nd National Conference was held in Ankara on from 2 to 4 December. Women from various cities who are working at home gathered in Turkey's capital and said "We are here" to make their work and lives visible.
At the conference, topics like developments in the field of home-based work were discussed as well as the public's responsibility and the results of related researches. Experiences and information were shared on working conditions and organizations in different countries.
The conference was opened by Assoc. Prof Aşkın Asan, Deputy Minister for Family Affairs and Social Politics. It was attended by home-based working women from 24 different locations; representatives of the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Program and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; representatives of the Association of Labour Inspectors; members of the Home-Based Working Women Workgroup and of the Partners for Solutions for Home-Based Working Women in Turkey; the Head of the Bulgarian Association of Home-Based Workers, Violeta Zlateva; the President of the Rumania Textile Workers Professional Union, Daniela Banari, and the Secretary of the Macedonia Home-Based Workers Union, İlija Boevski.
The main demand of the conference was the approval of the Home Work Convention of the International Labour Organization (No.177) by the Turkish government.
The final declaration of the conference pointed to the following issues:
* In order to overcome our invisibility, we urgently need more awareness and research carried out by public institutions, local governments and universities.
* We want labour unions to become more sensitive, work on this topic and pay more attention to a co-operation with us.
* We demand and expect the support given to Turkey by international institutions to be directed towards programs and projects that will increase our visibility.
* We want to be visible in government policies; we want our requests to be answered. We want to be part of the co-operation and addressed as a social party in works of public institutions related to home-based work and the development of our rights. Besides, we want to be inside the coordination within the public.
* Additionally, we demand to be part of the establishment of units related to gender equality and home-based working women. A budget should be allocated to these units.
* A common recognition and standardization of home-based work.
* Creating a data based regarding home-based workers.
* Legal and bureaucratic difficulties should be eased and the financial burden should be reduced, for example concerning tax exemption, in order to make it easier for us to associate and to support our co-operatives.
* Labour, health and work insurance with affordable premiums should be provided by making the necessary legal amendments in laws on labour and social security.
* We want the public to come together with us when looking for a job.
* We want all public work to give priority to awareness on gender. (ÇT)