Gender equality is crucial when it comes to employment opportunities for women and men. Yet barriers remain for women trying to enter the workforce. Factors vary as women’s participation in the labor force is lower than that of men, although it is believed that a patriarchal mindset and the outdated views of predominantly male employers, who believe that women are not suitable not at all jobs, play a role. Women showcasing their skills in every job will be showcased on International Women’s Day celebrated on Tuesday. Against “masculine” odds, women working in industry, a male-intensive sector, have to prove they are as capable as their male counterparts – although they don’t often complain as they do not discriminate against jobs, unlike men.
In the Dilovası district of Kocaeli, an industrial center east of Istanbul, women make up the majority of an electrical panel manufacturing plant. Factory manager Serkan Esen was one of the men who had a bias against women’s work until two years ago. When the factory moved from another city to its current location, it struggled to find new male workers. “We considered the possibility of hiring women and decided to give the candidates a chance. In the end, they showed us that they could also work in this sector, and they are even better than men,” he said. -He admitted to Anadolu Agency (AA). Women are “more careful, more attentive, more disciplined and more efficient”, he said. “The industry has a patriarchal system but women are better in this sector. They learn and grow while we have discipline issues with male workers. They work more harmoniously unlike male workers,” Esen said on Monday. .
The factory employs women in everything from welding heavy metal boxes to fastening their screws to shaping the huge sheets inside heavy equipment. Kader Arzu Taşdemir was one of the few women in the factory when it started four years ago. Working in a section where she makes covers for boxes, she said it’s a job “both genders can do”. “My job is to press masses of iron and flatten them. My friends were surprised at first and asked if it was difficult for a woman to do it. I’ve never had any problems. Certainly, I I was looking for an easier job but once I got used to it, it became an easy task for me,” she said.
Cevadiye Dulun works in the welding section. “It’s a job that can easily be done by any woman. Women can do anything as long as they love their job. I struggled at first but now I can weld with my eyes closed. I calls on all women to get a job, instead of sitting idly by at home, you can grow and earn money on the side,” she said.
In the capital Ankara, women play a key role in a company specializing in the defense and aviation industry. Company Director Müge Ertuğ Güzel leads a team of mostly female engineers in their family business established over four decades ago. In the industrial zone of Ostim, the company manufactures spare parts for local and international companies in two sectors. Güzel said she started out as a laborer herself, working on the assembly line and later as an accountant. “I’ve always focused on exports. Today I’m more into the financial side of the job,” said Güzel, whose company is a parts supplier for companies like Boeing, Airbus, Sikorsky and Bombardier, per through local defense contractors. Most employees are women, and Güzel says qualifications, not gender, play a role in business. “Women can do anything. They can work with heavy equipment. I think a workplace is better with female employees,” she said.
Güzel stresses that it was important to pave the way for “strong and empowered women”, especially by promoting girls’ education. “It’s a social duty, rather than a responsibility of their families,” she said.
Not all women are able to find suitable employment, but vocational apprenticeship courses help them enter the female labor market. The Family Support Centers (ADEM) help them get training and then find a job. In Gürpınar, a district in the eastern province of Van, some 5,000 women have benefited from the centers, which cater to women seeking self-improvement. Five centers in rural neighborhoods, where women are usually confined to agricultural jobs, contribute to their social integration and the search for new jobs. In the workshops, women mainly learn crafts, from woodcarving to carpet weaving, while literacy classes address another issue plaguing women in rural areas.
The women recently exhibited the handicrafts they made and started selling them through a local charity’s handicraft sales office. Zühre Değer, a mother of three who is in the vocational apprenticeship programs, said she learned new things and found a new job in their town where socializing options are limited. “I realized my strengths. Now I see myself as a businesswoman rather than a homemaker. I sell what I earn and give allowances to my children. time better. This place changed my life. I can now manage on my own,” AA Değer, who now plans to open a store, told Monday.
Seda Üstünkol said the center had “changed her life a lot”. “I discovered my skills. I didn’t know I was that good,” she said. “I socialize with others and make new friends. It motivates us to find our inner strength and earn money. This place is perfect for women,” she said.