Why so Few Women in the Labor Market in Turkey?
Turkey has one of the widest male--female employment gaps in the world. The post-1950 interplay between economic growth strategies and the male-breadwinner family led to distinct gendered labor market outcomes in the import-substitution versus the export-led growth periods. Examination of aggregate employment data in the 1955--2009 period, as well as regression analyses of household survey data for 1988, 2000, and 2008 and qualitative data from a 1997 field study, show that the lack of a demand-side challenge to the male-breadwinner family resulted in the institutionalization of the gendered labor division and roles as binding constraints on women' labor supply. The prevalence of informal sector employment and absence of paid work--family reconciliation measures magnify these supply-side constraints. Social conservatism is a more limited constraint, while men' unemployment emerges as a counteracting factor. Nevertheless, women' desire for increased autonomy emerges as the primary motivation for entering the labor market.
Volume (Year): 18 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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