TODAY’S – Female labor participation low, wide wage gap remains

Female labor participation low, wide wage gap remainsWhile women’s participation in the workforce has increased in Turkey in recent years, there is still a considerable wage gap, according to a report released last month by Oxfam International.According to the report, titled “The G20 and Gender Equality,” Turkey was the second-lowest G-20 country along with India (coming in just above Saudi Arabia) in terms of women’s participation in the labor force, although the country has made gains since 2005 and promoted aancement in female labor participation.

“Some government policies have had notable success in creating an upward trend in women’s employment and labor participation, including the major legislative change that upholds the equality principle progress in tackling illiteracy a law on compulsory education that helped narrow the gender gap employment incentives for women and investment incentive schemes in developing regions to tackle informality, and the expansion of social security coverage to cover domestic workers, agricultural workers and home based workers,” the report said in a subsection titled “Turkey: Inequality, Vulnerabilities and Government Successes.”In spite of the various strides that Turkey has made in narrowing the gender gap, it remains wide, perhaps most notably indicated by wage disparity.

In 2011 and 2012, women in Turkey on average only earned 60 percent as much as men. Income inequality is a general problem in the G-20, as women only earned between 57 and 76.

3 percent as much as men. Saudi Arabia and Germany took the lowest and highest spots on that list, respectively.

In 2012, informal employment was 30 percent for men in Turkey and the figure was slightly higher for women. Turkey was not among the G-20 countries with the highest informal employment, as countries such as India, Indonesia and Mexico were found to have significantly higher rates.

The report said that more than half of women in Turkey work without social benefits or job protections, and that women’s participation in the agricultural sector is twice as high in the eastern part of the country. Notably, Turkey is among the countries in the G-20 that offer women 90 or more days paid maternity leave.

The US, on the other hand, does not have such a mandate for any period of maternity leave.According to the report, the most important step Turkey needs to take to increase gender equality is additional legal measures to “ensure that women can enjoy the rights provided by the changes in the constitution, civil code, labor law and penal code for equal pay for equal work.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman