Roadmap Drawn Up under ILO-ISKUR Project Promoting Women’s Participation in Working Life

News | 29 November 2019
The roadmap for activities in 2020 was drawn up by the Project Monitoring Committee established under the project launched in January 2019 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) to support women’s participation in the world of work and increase the number of women working under decent conditions.

Under the project “Promoting Women's Access to More and Better Jobs” implemented by ILO and ISKUR in 2019-2022 with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Project Monitoring Committee held its first meeting on 28 November 2019 in Ankara.

Consisting of ILO officials, ISKUR General Directorate officials, and project focal staff of ISKUR at provincial directorates, the Committee had been given informative presentations on the activities started in 2019 and those planned for 2020; and the Committee finalised the 2020 Activity Plan based on the views of its members.

Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey; Mr. Cafer Uzunkaya, ISKUR General Director; and Ms. Malin Stawe, First Counsellor of Swedish Embassy, delivered opening remarks at the meeting; then Ms. Ebru Özberk Anlı, ILO Senior Programme Officer, provided information on the project; and Ms. Tuba Burcu Şenel, ILO Turkey’s Employment and Entrepreneurship Officer, informed the Committee on the future activities.

Emphasising the importance of the Committee, Mr. Özcan said: “I believe that this Committee, in charge of formulating and implementing public policies, has a leading role in Turkey’s achievement of global objectives of gender equality.”

“I further believe that such mechanism will augment the contribution from provincial directorates in all processes, and take the strong, productive collaboration between ILO and ISKUR to higher levels” said Mr. Özcan, and expressed that as the ILO Office for Turkey, they would continue to provide all forms of technical assistance to achieve gender equality and promote women’s employment.

Mr. Cafer Uzunkaya, ISKUR General Director, stated that Turkey now ranked third immediately after USA and Mexico among OECD member states, having increased its women labour force by 4.5 million and women’s employment by 3.5 million in 2007-2018.

He added that ISKUR proceeded toward its objective of women’s higher participation in labour force and higher employment rates; it did not suffice with a quantitative increase, but also worked to achieve women’s access to higher-skilled and decent jobs.

Mr. Uzunkaya said: “I hereby express my thanks to, in the person of Mr. Director, ILO Turkey team colleagues whom we always viewed a most important partner and with whom we intensively collaborated for the preparation phase of the project; Sweden and SIDA, of course, for its generous funding support to introduce innovative practices in our country.”

Ms. Malin Stawe, First Counsellor of Swedish Embassy, noted that conditions conducive to women’s participation in labour force should be created to achieve a strong, competitive and resilient market economy, and added: “This requires combating gender roles and gender-based violence.”

“Therefore, our aim by this project is to support Turkey by empowering women through innovative approaches.”

New Project Aspires to Further the Achievements in Phase I

The new project by the ILO Office for Turkey as a continuation of the former under the “More and Better Jobs for Women Programme - Phase II” aims to further strengthen the achievements of the Phase I.

Being implemented in Ankara, Istanbul, Konya, Bursa, Kocaeli and Izmir, the project “Promoting Women's Access to More and Better Jobs” aims to increase the number of women working under decent work conditions.

Another objective pursued under the project is to update, implement and monitor the “National and Local Action Plans on Women's Employment” drawn up in Phase I, as well as develop and implement employment services that support women’s employment, and Active Labour Market Programmes.

The ILO Office for Turkey and ISKUR signed a protocol on 17 September 2019 to implement said activities and achieve outcomes in cooperation and coordination.

Turkey’s First-Ever National Action Plan on Women's Employment Drawn Up at Phase I

Under the Phase I that ran in 2013-2018, Turkey’s first-ever National Action Plan on Women's Employment was adopted; Local Action Plans on Women’s Employment were drawn up in the project provinces; and significant outcomes were achieved in providing women with access to decent job opportunities, as well as creating awareness on gender equality and working conditions.