Pilot Project on Active Labour Market Policies for Advancing Gender Equality through Decent Employment for Women in Turkey

The Pilot Project on Active Labour Market Policies for Advancing Gender Equality through Decent Employment for Women in Turkey was implemented jointly by İŞKUR and ILO Ankara Office from 01 January 2009 to 31 March 2010 (See also Project Proposal). The duration of the project covering the provinces of Ankara, Gaziantep and Konya is 15 months. The target group of the project comprises unemployed young women in these project provinces registered with the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR).

The overall objective of the project is to build capacity, at province level, of İŞKUR personnel and social partners; assist the development of gender sensitive policies and programmes; enhance the employability of unemployed women in target provinces by referring them to active labour market policies and build awareness in women’s human rights.

The budget of the project funded by the Norwegian Government is 398,748 US Dollars. While ILO’s Ankara Office is in charge of technical and operational aspects of the project the institution responsible for implementation is İŞKUR within the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS).

During its implementation, the Project received technical support from the ILO International Training Centre (ITC), ILO Gender Equality Bureau, Prime Ministry Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK) and Women’s Human Rights: New Solutions Association (KİHYÇD). The Project Steering Committee composed of the representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations and İŞKUR took active part in the project through the meetings of Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Boards. The UN organizations which are the members of the UN Gender Equality Group extended support to the project in awareness raising activities.

Under the project, many successful activities were carried out which contributed to the internalization of gender sensitive approaches by İŞKUR, enhancement of women’s employability through vocational trainings organized in project provinces and creation of awareness in gender equality. For ensuring inter-agency coordination in activities and reaching success, the project implementation strategy was based on two components namley institutional development and direct assistance:

With the institutional development component, İŞKUR, relevant ministries and social partners were provided technical support to help them gather information and develop technical capacity and partnering skills so as to contribute to the promotion of women’s employment. Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) geared to promoting women’s employment were successfully implemented by İŞKUR with the support of ILO. While İŞKUR implemented gender sensitive programmes, Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Boards developed employment strategies focusing on women’s employment with the active participation of social partners.

With the direct assistance component, vocational training courses that would equip women in target provinces with necessary information, skills and attitudes to increase their employability were delivered. Trainings were materialized with the technical support of İŞKUR Province Directorates and successfully completed with an impact much higher than original expectations. This component included vocational trainings, training on women’s human rights and seminars in job seeking techniques and entrepreneurship.

Project activities were carried out within the framework of two basic principles:

Development and promotion of gender sensitive employment policies and programmes
Ensuring the active participation of social partners to the process of developing employment policies.

Within the framework of these principles, significant results were achieved at province level with close cooperation with national stakeholders particularly in mainstreaming gender equality and supporting women’s employment and active participation of social partners to project activities was ensured.

We extend our thanks to the General Directorate of İŞKUR, its Foreign Relations Department and Directorates in target provinces for their close cooperation and technical support they gave at all stages of the project.