KAGIDER News Release – 8 March

International Women's Day allows us the opportunity to think once again about the position of women in social and economic life in our country. Sincerely making this assessment in a sincere way will make the road map to gender equality more concrete. No doubt, Turkey has made progress in this area until now with the struggle of the public institutions, non-governmental organizations and the individual effort of both women. However, the figures show that we have a very long way to go. According to TURKSTAT Labor Force Statistics, 20.4 million women are still not included in the workforce in our country. The rate of women entrepreneurs, who have a very important role in further developing the economy, is only 11%.

We need to make more efforts to take advantage of the potential of women in the economy and entrepreneurship and to channel this potential into development. Another important issue is the need to strengthen the social position of women.

In addition, attacks and murders on women increase,  limited representation of women in the field of politics continues, and male-dominated culture and prejudices, which form the basis of gender inequality, continue to exert pressure on the society.

However, it is possible to prevent this process. Today, the dazzling developments we experience in technology, in other words, the digital revolution, provide us with very powerful tools for women's empowerment and gender equality. The equalizing power of digital technologies will be one of the main ways to achieve gender equality in the medium and long term.

The issue that should be prioritised in many developing countries, such as Turkey, is the elimination of existing digital divide between the sexes against women in access to and use of new technologies

For this purpose:

1. It is important to encourage girls to receive education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which are called STEMs, and to increase their professional career opportunities in these fields.

2. The number of women entrepreneurs and professionals in the technology sector should increase.

3. Women entrepreneurs in different sectors, especially in agriculture, should be facilitated to access digital technologies and they should be enabled to turn the disadvantages into advantages.

Unless women who make up half of our population have equal existence in economic and social life, our country will not be able become a developed and prosperous country. Strengthening women economically will contribute to the strengthening of both other women and the society.

It is in our hands to shape a stronger future 'together'!

KAGİDER Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey