73rd International Atlantic Economic Conference

March 28 - 31, 2012 | Istanbul, Turkey

Gender inequality in Turkey: A perspective on the economic gap

Saturday, 31 March 2012: 9:10 AM
Mary Lou O'Neil, PhD. , American Culture and Literature, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey
Sule Toktas, Ph D. , Political Science and Public Administration, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey
Gender has been a dimension of wage gap in various sectors. Women not only face difficulties when entering the job market but drop-out rates for women are higher than their male counterparts due to the social roles prescribed for them such which prioritizes domesticity, child rearing and family reproduction over career. What’s more, even if they do enter and remain in the job market, they are often paid less than men. The wage gap between men and women has been a form of discrimination experienced in both developed and developing countries and in industrial and non-industrial countries. The same wage gap on the basis of gender is applicable to the Turkish case as well. Women in Turkey face wage discrimination and earn less compared to men despite extensive legislation that outlaws discrimination in pay. There have been numerous explanations offered for the lack of women participating in the labor force in Turkey. Perhaps more than anything the transition from an economy dominated by agricultural to one dominated by markets has eliminated many jobs that women once performed.  Moreover, low rates of education for women in Turkey further hinder their search for jobs.  However, low education rates do not explain the istances of lower female earrnings in professional occupations.  This paper explores the current literature on the issue as well as lays out an agenda for future research in this area.