The Closing Conference of Women’s Empowerment for Decent Jobs Project is Held
The Closing Conference of “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women's Empowerment for Decent Jobs in Turkey” project, carried out in cooperation with International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) and financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), was organised in Ankara.
The conference was attended by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jülide Sarıeroğlu, Swedish Ambassador to Ankara, Lars Wahlund, Director General, Cafer Uzunkaya, Director of ILO Office for Turkey, Numan Özcan, directors of İŞKUR and MoLSS as well as the women that had started their own businesses with supports provided in the pilot provinces of Ankara, Bursa, Konya and İstanbul within the scope of the Project and women who had received vocational training.
Minister Sarıeroğlu, who delivered the opening speech of the conference, said that İŞKUR had undergone significant change and transformation under 15 years. Evaluating the services offered by İŞKUR to date, Ms. Sarıeroğlu said, “İŞKUR, having carried out the job placement of nearly 29 thousand people in 2002, has today become a public employment service realising the job placement of 1 million 57 thousand people. This is an important success. Our goal is to bring these figures to higher levels. In this regard, Turkey is not the way it was before. We do not perform any work without setting out our action and ensuring the participation of our stakeholders. Turkey has big and strong goals. We are conducting an operation in Afrin for over 50 days. We faced a coup attempt 2 years ago. Furthermore, we have a population of 81 million people. Every year, 1 million people participate in the labour market. Despite these all, we are a country which ranked first all over the world with a growth of 11.1 percent in the third quarter of the year. If what we went through had been experienced by any other country, it would have been impossible for that country to reach these data. This is Turkey’s success and the result of firm determination.”
In the continuation of her speech, Ms. Sarıeroğlu stressed that Turkey was undergoing a very critical mental process in relation to women. Mentioning that as the government they had placed women in the centre of all of their policies for the last 15 years, Sarıeroğlu said, “We are working with all our strength for our women to be empowered in all aspects of life. The figures we have attained in the current situation are the result of these strong works. There are sharp reductions in the unemployment rates. There is 1.3-point increase in women’s participation rates in labour force. We aim at reaching a 41 percent women’s labour force participation rate by 2023. We have, in this regard, renewed all our legislation and bring it to much higher levels.”
Reminding that, as İŞKUR, had held the Presidency of the World Association of Public Employment Services for 3 years, Sarıeroğlu stated, "The countries contacting us in this process mentioned about their wish to benefit from Turkey’s experiences. We put into our incentives that are not implemented in any country around the world. A new package of ours which includes very strong employment incentives is under discussion by the Grand Assembly. This package covers very significant regulations regarding women. We want more participation of women in production. We want them to further engage in administrative levels, decision mechanisms. We will give care support of 400 TL for children, between ages of 2 and 5, of women attending on-the-job training programmes."
Swedish Ambassador to Ankara, Lars Wahlund, took the floor after the Minister’s speech and drew attention to the fact that no country could develop without ensuring the employment of women. Wahlund, stating that Turkey achieved an important goal for women’s employment with this project, thanked MoLSS, İŞKUR and ILO that contributed to this project.
"İŞKUR is a Pioneer of a Success Story in Turkey"
Director General of İŞKUR, Cafer Uzunkaya, expressed his pleasure about following and realising such important projects as the Ministry and İŞKUR. Uzunkaya, stating that İŞKUR is a Pioneer of a Success Story in Turkey, said, "As a result of the studies that we have lately performed as the public employment agency of Turkey, led by our Ministry, we see the studies that we should realise for women and young people, and our shortcomings in this regard and take measures accordingly. When the last 15-year process is analysed, we are pleased to see that İŞKUR is a success story in Turkey. As a matter of course, this success is the outcome of the importance attached to our Agency by the Government. When 2012 figures are considered, İŞKUR was only mediating the employment of 25,000 people in private sector. When we introduce 2017 figures, we can clearly see the distance that we covered. In 2017, we mediated the recruitment of 357,000 women of ours. We have become an Institution that have increased its figures by 82 times in the last 15 years. We placed 1,057,000 people to a job in 2017. For 2018, our target for the job placement is 1,250,000 people, 450,000 of whom are women. We will hopefully realise our target of job placement of 450,000 women as 500,000. We trust our provincial directorates in 81 provinces country-wide and our stakeholders who stood by our side in local and international projects in this process."
ILO Director of Turkey, Numan Özcan, expressing their pleasure to take part in this project as ILO Office for Turkey, said: “We are glad to implement this project. Important results were obtained for both making policies for women’s employment and meeting women with decent jobs in a period of approximately 5 years. Firstly I would like to thank İŞKUR, taking part in this project with us as the main beneficiary, and then all institutions and organisations that contributed to this project.”
Following the speeches, studies regarding the project were introduced and “Project Street” was opened with the participation of the Minister Sarıeroğlu and the protocol and women participants who were offered services under the project.
“More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment for Decent Jobs in Turkey” Project:
“More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment for Decent Jobs in Turkey” Project was launched in 2013 and lasted for 5 years, with the cooperation of International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) and financing of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
This Project led the way to many new advances in Ankara, Bursa, Konya and İstanbul as the pilot provinces. The First “Women’s Employment Action Plan” of Turkey was prepared. In pilot provinces, a total of 800 women were given trainings on human rights, employee rights, gender equality and entrepreneurship. Nearly 50 of 400 women attending entrepreneurship trainings established their own businesses within the first year. Saying “I support equality”, more than 2000 employees (women or men) were delivered trainings on gender equality. Representatives of “Gender Equality” were assigned in 81 Provincial Directorates of Turkish Employment Agency.
The Project carried out its activities mainly for three goals which were to develop a comprehensive and integrated policy on increasing and generalising women employment at the national level, to contribute to women’s access to decent work opportunities via active labour market policies, and to promote the empowerment of women employment in Turkey by creating awareness in the field of gender equality and working standards.