A project launched by the government two years ago to boost women’s employment has reached out to more than 42,000 people. Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policies Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk said in a written statement released on Monday that Mothers At Work launched by the Turkish Employment Agency (IŞKUR) benefited women with its vocational training courses and programs.
The government launched the project in September 2018 for disadvantaged women, namely those who cannot work since they have to care for their children at home. It prioritized women who relied on social benefits, those suffering from domestic violence and women with children below the age of 1 and up to the age of 15.
The project, applied in 81 provinces across the country, first provides job training and consultancy services for applicants. Further vocational training and on-the-job training are also provided and IŞKUR partially guarantees that the women will find jobs once going through the training programs. Each woman is entitled to a daily allowance throughout the training and an additional TL 400 ($52) monthly to pay for child care, therefore allowing housewives who devoted their time to their children rather than a career, to join the workforce. “We took important steps for empowerment of women. We work for women to have qualified education, to help their access to the job market, have social security and to help more women be entrepreneurs,” the minister said.
Women’s employment rate in Turkey stands at around 34%, but the government hopes to raise this number using several incentives. This includes financial support for women’s cooperatives and interest-free loans for female entrepreneurs. It also increased the length of maternity leave for working women and provides financial support for daycare needs. Grandparents looking after the working mothers' children also are entitled to allowances as part of the employment scheme.