Inclusive Trade in Turkey: Legal and Economic Perspectives on Labour and Gender

- 8 July 2021

Trade topics: Gender and Trade, Gender Inequality, Labour, Decent Work

The overarching aim of the project is to reflect upon the discussion on women and trade that takes place within the larger WTO context and draw conclusions on how to better achieve inclusiveness in trade. The project began when TURKTRADE, an NGO in Turkey with 34 member firms (representing 15% of Turkey’s total exports) approached the Chair with this proposal. There is also demand from the Turkish Ministry of Trade for studies in this field.
The research intends to look closer into international trade impacts on gender equality with a special focus on foreign trade-oriented firms. One of the outputs of the project is to reveal the gender gaps in the workplace which may be caused by the employment environment and the absence of a gender approach to employment and human resource policies. It will also analyse existing decent work and job quality studies.
TURKTRADE and the Chair will jointly conduct a survey to identify the gender gaps in the work conditions through decent work dimensions such as earnings and benefits, work-life balance, working hours, safety at work, employment security, among others. Another potential partner in the project is Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) representing more than 95,000 exporters with 27 sectors and 61 exporters associations. The survey is intended to build capacity in the long run as a framework for future studies. Later on, it can be used to create an index for data on gender equality.
Finally, the last component of the research will examine the potential implications of labour conditionalities in trade agreements that Turkey is a party to or will eventually conclude where sanction mechanisms may be embedded within the context of violation of labour provisions. Since this can affect the foreign trade capacity and operations of firms (notably members of TURKTRADE and Turkish Exporters Assembly), various stakeholders, including government officials will be included in the information dissemination activities to increase awareness in this matter and build capacity.