The number of women benefiting from the government's social and economic support service has so far reached 400,000, while TL 40 million has been allocated to 22 million women within the scope of the half-day work allowance. Women will continue to benefit from this service, launched to ensure women's participation in both family and business life.
"In this context, we are implementing several projects aimed at supporting the economic and social empowerment of women in our country," said Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, adding that, "62% of social assistance recipients, 76% of regular assistance recipients, and 50% of periodical assistance recipients are women."
Under the Women's Empowerment Strategy Document and Action Plan, the government is working on five main axes, namely education, health, economy, participation in decision-making mechanisms and media. Selçuk said that regular aid programs support women's rights. "Women are more affected by poverty and face this risk more. We carry out activities to ensure that women are involved in all areas of life, particularly education, working life, and politics," she added.
The minister pointed to the studies carried out to raise women's awareness on money management, income, expenditure, savings, assets, debt, savings, and investment instruments, recalling that seminars on financial literacy and economic empowerment were organized in this context. She said that 7,495 people attended the seminars organized in 30 cities as of July this year, adding, "In the seminars held with the support of our provincial directorates and local dynamics, 14,595 women in 53 provinces have been reached since last year. These seminars will be extended to 81 provinces." Under the five-year support program, the implementation of active labor programs aimed at ensuring the participation of social assistance recipients in the labor market will enable women to acquire skills that facilitate their employment. Applications will be developed to facilitate women's participation in the labor market and increase their employment. Women's opportunities for vocational training and skills development, especially in the areas of technology products, such as coding and software, will be strengthened.
Women entrepreneurs will be given consultancy support in business development processes to improve their economic activities. Mechanisms aimed at enhancing women's economic activities in digital environments such as websites, portals, and applications will be set. Training programs and seminars will be organized to empower women entrepreneurs in e-commerce.
In her speech at the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations earlier this year, Selcuk had said Turkey boasts the highest increase in women's employment among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries in Europe.
She had said the labor force participation rate in Turkey among women rose from 25% to 29% over the last 16 years. The minister stressed Turkey aims to increase that rate to 41%. Over the last 11 years, female employment increased by approximately 3.5 million women.
Since 2006, there has also been a 7% increase in the employment rate of women in Turkey aged 15-24, according to data from the World Bank.
The number of women in decision-making roles in Turkey has increased as well, with women now making up 17.5% of the Turkish Parliament while over 50% of the staff employed in universities are women.
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