Turkey's Ministry of Family and Social Policies and Google have teamed up on a new project to encourage more women to join the workforce. Thousands of women will be taught e-commerce in an effort to help them sell the products they produce at home or in small workplaces online.
Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya said they would initially reach out to 20,000 women and that the number may grow in the future. As part of the project, women will be given free access to e-commerce websites. "We thought that the initial number would be 20,000, but Google executives considered it a rather low figure. It will be increased," Kaya said. The project will primarily focus on women in eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey, areas that have suffered from a lack of economic growth for decades mainly due to terror threats. Women will be educated by Google on how to market and sell their products through workshops.
Kaya says that computer use among women has increased fivefold in recent years. "Some 60 percent of women and 76 percent of men have computer literacy and use, and through education, we will try to increase these rates," the minister stated. She added that they would arrange free memberships to e-commerce websites for companies run by women and companies with female board members.
The Turkish government has introduced a series of packages to boost women's employment and has developed joint projects with the European Union for this purpose.
As part of the National Employment Strategy 2014-2023, Turkey aims to boost the rate of women in the workforce to 41 percent from around 32 percent.
Google is already working on another project with the government to boost employment. Cooperating with Google's Youtube, the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) offers training to entrepreneurs on how to be Youtubers and on digital entrepreneurship.