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Ekonomik Yaklasim. 2014; 25(93): 1-20

Gender Segregated Labor Market and Work-Life Preferences: Evidence from Turkey


Recent drastic changes in demand for and supply of labor have given rise to efficient labor market transformations, notably in the status of gender stereotypes in advanced countries. An important question remains: Why are women’s roles in the labor market still lagging in terms of the distribution of resources and wages in developing countries? Given that wage inequality and gender segregation in occupations continues, those issues require further discussion from the viewpoint of gender inequality. While similar transformations have taken place in Turkey, aggregate data indicates that female employment and labor force participation still need special consideration. The framework of socio-cultural and economic factors that determines gender-based division, both in the labor market and households, causes women generally lag behind men at all levels in Turkey. The limited number of jobs available for women, long working hours, heavy working conditions, low wages and women’s lack of work skills are some of the factors keeping women out of the labor market. Despite recent amendments to legislation aimed at preventing gender inequality, it is still not possible to see female employment increasing due to and the strict conservative patriarchal values that characterize Turkish society. Further investments are needed in fields such as the active labor market and life-long learning in order to increase female employment. Reducing informal employment while promoting high quality and productive jobs is all crucial for addressing the problems of female unemployment in Turkey.

Key words: Female employment, gender inequality, discrimination, Turkey. JEL Classification: I21, J13, J21, J24.

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