Work and Life Balance: New Challenges for Women in Turkey

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 2:45 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Mehmet AYSAN , Sociology, Istanbul Sehir University, Istanbul, Turkey
Ummugulsum AYSAN , Business, Istanbul University, St. Catherines, ON, Turkey
This paper highlights the roles of the family in welfare distribution and how work-life balance has been affectted by the social policies, with particular emphasis in recent family provisions and labour market reforms. Furthermore, it examines whether a neo-liberal economic process leads the Turkish welfare regime to adopt the characteristics of the Liberal welfare regime. There are two main objectives in this chapter. First, it aims to highlight major characteristics of the Turkish welfare regime and its family policies. That is, it seeks to examine how the welfare regime has evolved in view of actors representing the interests of state, market, family, and local actors. Second, it aims to analyze the ways in which the Turkish welfare regime and its family policies are affecting the welfare of the different cohorts and genders. That is, it seeks to scrutinize how changing families affecting equity across gender and generations. This paper shows that despite important gender equity reforms and significant increase in women’s labour force participation, the Turkish welfare regime has still some inequality problems in terms of generations and genders. This also affects work-life balance of women.

Changing family structure and work-life balance will be analyzed in light of welfare regime theoretical framework. Turkey has revealed significant similarities with other Southern European countries through its familialistic structure, the residual nature of social assistance, and patronage. The methodology to be used in this paper depends on quantitative secondary data and previous studies on welfare states and family policies. I will use mostly comparative data on family policies, labour market, and demographic indicators from the OECD and the Turkish Statistic Institute to understand the transformation of the Turkish welfare regime and family structure.