Activation policies during the EU candidacy process: An analysis into the profiles, experiences and expectations of Turkish women attending labour market training programs

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013




This thesis aims to inquire the profiles, experiences and expectations of Turkish women attending the labour market training programs. The latter emerged as one of the key dimensions of the labour market policies adopted by Turkey within the EU candidacy process, in order to raise its female labour force participation rates which is well below the EU standards. The study first reviews the status of Turkish women in the labour market. It then locates the development of the activation approach in labour market policies within the framework of increasing neoliberalisation of the Turkish economy, which especially since the 2000s, overlapped with Turkey’s EU candidacy process. The study derives on field work that entailed a combination of focus group and in depth interviews with women who were enrolled at the time or had successfully completed labour market training programs organised by both the central government (Is-Kur contracted training programs) and one of the local governments (Cankaya Municipality, Ankara). Through an analysis of the self-statements of the interviewees, the study finds that such programs have considerable potential in terms of increasing women’s labour force participation, their prospects for economic empowerment and that they contribute to women’s self-confidence and self-actualization. The study also highlights that provision of labour market training programs through multiple channels such as through programs coordinated by both the central and local governments increases the accessibility of the programs concerned for women.