Turkey Launched a Project to Increase Economic Opportunities for Women, with Support from Sweden and the World Bank

October 22, 2013

ANKARA, October 22, 2013—The Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policy/Women’s Status Directorate General, the Government of Sweden [Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA)] and the World Bank (WB) launched today a project to support increasing access of women to economic opportunities in Turkey.

The Project will be executed jointly by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy/Women’s Status Directorate General and WB, and will be  funded through a grant of 30 million Swedish Kronor (approximately 4.5 million $ equivalent) from Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The purpose of the Grant is briefly to contribute to the ongoing efforts by the government to improve women’s access to more and better jobs by (i) strengthening evidence-based policy making; (ii) facilitating knowledge sharing (including Turkey’s experience with other countries) and raising awareness; and (iii) supporting the piloting of women cooperatives.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for the project by Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden and the World Bank Turkey Country Director’s Office.

During the meeting held for the launch of the project and calling proposals for Research Projects, Deputy Minister Assoc. Prof. Aşkın Asan said: “Turkey has been producing and consistently implementing gender equality policies for enabling women to get the social, economic, political and cultural roles they deserve since 2002.  One of the most remarkable policies in this context is the incentivizing and supportive policies that include women in economic life. The impact analyses of these policies and production of evidence-based scientific information for new policies will significantly facilitate and streamline the activities of our Ministry on this matter. In this sense, the funding provided by the Government of Sweden and the technical assistance provided by the World Bank will add new impetus to our efforts.

Increasing female employment could significantly boost economic growth and reduce poverty in Turkey: World Bank estimates suggest that increasing the share of women who work full-time by just 6 percentage points could increase income by 7 percent and reduce poverty by 15 percent” said Martin Raiser, Country Director of the World Bank. “The World Bank remains deeply committed to continue working with Turkey to increasing women’s access to economic opportunities” he continued.

Participation of women in labor force is absolutely necessary for economic growth. Sweden’s support to increasing women’s access to economic opportunities in Turkey is part of a larger effort to increase gender equality and support Turkey’s accession to the EU” said Swedish Ambassador Lars Wahlund.

On the occasion of the Project Launch ceremony, a call for proposals for research projects on the issue of increasing economic opportunities for women was announced. For more information and application procedures please visit the websites of the World Bank ( and Women’s Status Directorate General (

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