Leaders of Turkey's politics, public, business world and civil society have significant responsibility in ensuring women's equal participation to all fields of life, said Turkey's top business body Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) in a statement released for the March 8 International Working Women's Day.
TÜSİAD urged that all conditions which ease violence against women should be eliminated, adding that 38 percent of married women and 75 percent of divorced or separated women face physical or sexual violence in Turkey.
Moreover, one in four women is subject to economic violence, meaning that their participation to work was either restrained, they had to leave work, or their income was seized, the statement said.
"Violence against women means violating human rights" urged the statement, calling business world, public and the civil society to step up and build up an aversive legal system against attackers.
TÜSİAD's statement also addressed the importance of equal rights for education at every level, underlining that the access to education is a cornerstone for women's participation to work life, as well as social life. In Turkey, access to education of 32 percent of women aged between 15-59 is hindered. In rural areas, this number reaches 39 percent.
Meanwhile, employment rate is only 33.6 percent for working age women.
Children or career?
TÜSİAD's statement also warned that women should not be forced to the "child or career" dilemma, as 14 percent of working women have to leave work after giving birth. Institutional child care services should be widened across the country.
Also, young girls should be more integrated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) domains in education, the statement added.
Representation in the political scene
"Representation of women in the parliament is 14.9 percent in Turkey, which ranks 121th among 191 countries along with Chad and Egypt. The fact that women making half of the country cannot be represented in the country's management equally would cause restricted projection of needs and requirements.
We need women's potential, energy and viewpoint" the statement stressed.