Facing the challenges imposed by the Islamic tradition and the social changes generated by the modern society, Turkish families are in a phase of transition, in which the women’s role becomes more pregnant. Although there are encountered various difficulties in finding work and the employment in Turkey is still far from being equal between men and women, the recent trends and the changes in the social structure indicate that women tend to emancipate, jumping from their traditional role linked to the household, outside this universe, by finding jobs and becoming financially independent.
The current research proposal recommends the following aims that should be developed in the actual research paper:
- Identifying the current trends in the Turkish society regarding the role of the woman in the household.
- Analyzing Turkish women’s presence in the labor force.
- Analyzing the social, economic and legislative context in which women activate on the labor force.
Significance of the Project
Through the targeted objectives, the project finds its significance in drawing the image of the Turkish woman, a symbol of transition from the traditionalist Islamism to the modern capitalism. In addition, the project will enrich the existent gender literature, by specifically pointing relevant aspects retrieved from the Turkish society.
Western societies promote gender equality in all the segments of society, inclusively in work. Recent studies indicate that 40% of Senior Managers in the Baltic countries are women. In Turkey, the rate of women’s occupancy of Senior Managers’ position is 30%. This ranks Turkey on 15th place in a top that highlights women managers. In addition, women’s salaries are equal to men’s, for equal activities (Oguz, 2013).
Despite these positive figures, the rate of women unemployment in Turkey reaches 11.6 percent and the total rate of employment is 26.7%. Moreover, out of the total working women, 48 percent were activating in the service sector, 38 % in agriculture, 14% in industry and 0,83% in construction (Oguz, 2013). This indicates the predominance of the services and agricultural jobs for women in Turkey. This aspect defines the sectors preponderantly dedicated to women employment.
Buyukbay notes that in 2006 there were about 22 percent of the Turkish women participating in the labor force, with 1.852.000 working women in the urban area and 5.030.000 women working in the rural area (2010). Therefore, it is visible that in general, women who go outside the household mostly dedicate to agricultural employment.
An explication for this trend might be their educational level. This is also the cause for which most women who have the right to work (the proper age) do not use it, considering it too complicated and the payment low. In addition, considering their traditional role of caring for their families and household duties, many of them obey to this status, considering that the man, the husband is the main provider in the family (Buyukbay, 2010).
Nevertheless, the educational level for women increases and in relation to this there also increases their expectations regarding employment opportunities. Heper and Sayari indicate that in Turkey, less – educated women begin working in informal jobs and they make little effort or none to move to formal jobs, while educated women tend to start their work in formal, secured jobs. The authors also indicate that although the employment ratio for women is extremely low, it increases gradually, in accordance with the educational levels that women reach. The Turkish society tends to assist to a slightly gender role transcendence, wherein women aim for jobs traditionally destined for men (Weiten, Dunn & Hammer, 2010).
Because of their social conventions entrenched in a traditionalist society, women in Turkey are still highly dominant as household figures. Nevertheless, because of the increase of women’s educational status, there is registered a tendency in women to go outside the household, aiming for formal jobs and for developing their careers. This holds a high significance for the entire Turkish society, as it implies a change in the gender role among the Turkish family, labor force and Turkish society as a whole.
Buyukbay, C. (2009) Consequences of globalization on Turkish women regarding labor participation. Grin Verlag: Norderstedt.
Heper, M. & Sayari, S. (2012) The Routledge handbook of modern Turkey. Routledge: News York.
Oguz, S. (2013) Turkish women still face challenges in the workplace. Almonitor. Retrieved from http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/tr/contents/articles/culture/2013/03/turkey-women-employment.html.
Weiten, W., Dunn, D., S. & Hammer, E., Y. (2010) Psychology applied to modern life: adjustments in the 21st century. Wadsworth Cengage Learning: Belmont.