Speech Of H.e. Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister Of Family,labour And Social Services

Turkuno Daimi Temsilciliği 13.03.2019

Honorable Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

• It is a great pleasure and honor for me to address you in the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

• This year’s main theme provides us to look at the issue from a broader perspective of social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure.

• We all know that achieving sustainable development goals is not possible without women.

• As our President H.E. Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN states that an approach that excludes women from social, political, economic as well as educational life, is a concern, not only for women but also for the whole society.

• In Turkey, we always design and tailor our policies and practices based on a people oriented approach.

• I can proudly say that Turkey has a strong legal ground and also infrastructure to provide equal access to rights and opportunities to women and men in terms of social protection, social security and social services and also to design more women friendly practices.

• We have put into practice the Strategy Paper and Action Plan on Women’s Empowerment” in this regard. 

• Turkey always attaches importance to women’s participation in all walks of life and carries out activities aimed at moving women towards the status women deserve.

• As the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, we are working hard in order to enable women to enter the labor market, strengthen their status in the work life, increase women’s employment by developing policies in line with the changing conditions of work life and also designing policies and practices that will enhance work-life balance of women to preserve the role of family institution in society.

• We have increased the net schooling rate of girls by two times in secondary education and by three times in higher education in Turkey.

• H.E. First Lady Emine Erdoğan particularly supports the cause of access of girls to education through campaigns such as “Let’s Go to School, Girls”, “Dad, Send me to School”, “Snowdrops” are implemented.

• We are proud that the labor force participation rates of women rose from 25.3% to 29% in 16 years. In addition, we have aimed to increase this rate up to 41%.

• In the last 11 years female employment increased by approximately 3.5 million in our country.

• The rate of women in decision making mechanisms has been going up consistently, as well.

• The rate of women representation in parliament was raised up to 17.5 % in the latest general elections in 2018 while it was 4.4 % in 2002.

• According to latest data, 38.4% of the personnel employed in public institutions and 51% of the academic staff at universities in Turkey are women.

• Hence, we prioritize our efforts in increasing the number of women representatives in each and every field.

• Nearly 57% of half million people participated in our active labor force programs were women.

• Particularly, we make an effort to promote the entrepreneurship capabilities of women and also to increase the competency of women in IT and digital transformation.

• In accordance with SDGs, we are resolutely maintaining our efforts for combating violence against women through a zero tolerance approach with the common stance of the all related parties and also through Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMC) and women’s guesthouses.

• Our comprehensive Family Training Programs and Pre-Marriage Training Programs also aim to guide them about their rights and opportunities and to empower them.

• Since 2013, nearly 2.3 million people have benefitted from the programs.

• We have also carried out many practices which facilitate women’s motherhood from pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding leaves to flexible working; from dissemination of daycares for their children to supporting childcare.

• Women also are more prone to be affected by the risk of poverty.

• Considering this, we also provide social protection programs to empower women.

• In addition, we are embracing the oppressed people who were forced to leave their homelands due to ongoing conflicts in the nearby geography with our open door policy setting an example to the world.

• With the social security reform, universal health insurance (UHI) system has been introduced in 2008. Thanks to UHI, 99.1% of citizens in Turkey and foreigners who has resident permit or refugee statue can access to health services.

• I wish that 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women would contribute to achievement of the national and international commitments adopted for empowerment of women.

• Because, we believe that women constitute the half of the World’s population, and we all know that the bright future will not exist without us.


Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu Ambassador