“More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey” Project – PHASE I

Donor: Sweden, through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Key Partner: İŞKUR
Project Budget: 3,446,824.74 USD
Project Provinces: Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul and Konya


The project aims at:

  • Developing an inclusive and integrative policy at the national level for increasing and promoting women's employment;
  • Contributing to ensure access for women to decent work opportunities through active labour market policies;
  • Supporting strengthening of women's employment in Turkey by raising awareness on gender equality and working conditions.


Policy development

  • Turkey’s first Action Plan (2016-2018) on Women’s Employment at national and local levels in four project provinces were developed in order to support the creation of decent work opportunities for women. The technical support was provided for effective and sustainable implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan.
  • Action Plan also served as a consensus document adopted by all relevant parties through an exemplary example of social dialogue.
  • The “Gender Equality Monitoring and Evaluation Commission,” composed of representatives from all service units, was established within ISKUR General Directorate for the development and monitoring of gender responsive public employment policies and services in ISKUR.

Capacity Building and Ensuring Access to Decent Work Opportunities for Women

  • A number of steps were taken to engender public employment services. For the first time in Turkey, ISKUR’s services were examined through the lens of gender equality and based on the findings; training was delivered to approximately 450 ISKUR staff on the provision of gender responsive public employment services.
  • Knowledge and awareness of the members of Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Boards (IIMEKs) were raised in pilot provinces through training activities on women’s employment-gender equality.
  • Labour markets were analysed through gender perspective in Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul and Konya on the current situation of labour force and gender preferences of employers on jobs with highest vacancy rates. Based on the findings, policy recommendations were developed to eliminate the causes that might hinder the growth of women’s employment at provincial level.
  • Approximately 820 unemployed women who participated in the vocational training and other courses organised by project partner municipalities in pilot provinces were equipped with women’s human rights including rights in work life in order to contribute to women’s empowerment.
  • Most of the 820 unemployed women in Ankara and Bursa were provided seminars on “Job Search Skills and Interview Techniques by ISKUR’s job and vocational counsellor who were trained on “Gender Responsive job and vocational counselling.”
  • 400 women entrepreneur candidates were delivered entrepreneurship training and mentorship support in four project provinces and 28 women were provided with micro-grants of 2,000 USD selected through a Business Plan Contest.
  • Approximately 50 women started up their own businesses within a year following the training.

Raising Awareness

  • Project also helped raise awareness in all segments of the society on women’s employment and decent work for women through informative publications, brochures, public spots, infographic videos, posters, short documentary film competition, short videos.
  • As part of raising awareness activities; approximately 2,000 women and men were also informed about women’s employment and gender equality in the workplace through “I Support Equality” seminars which covered a range of sectors from energy to textile, defence and health.
  • As a further step to contribute to create gender responsive enterprises and follow up to the ‘I Support Equality” seminars,’ a group of mobile trainers was formed and received training on ILO-initiated Gender Equality Model at SMEs (MIG SCORE) program to conduct the Program in the selected enterprises with a special focus on provision of gender equality’s benefits for enterprises and employees.
  • For prevention violence and harassment against women in the world of work, a range of raising awareness activities were conducted including an International Conference on “Preventing Violence and Harassment against Women in the World of Work”


  • Relevant ministries
  • Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Boards in project provinces;
  • Municipalities in project provinces;
  • Workers (TÜRK-İŞ, HAK-İŞ, DİSK) and Employers (TİSK) Confederations;
  • Women NGOs
  • Private Sector
  • Universities