Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Female Labor Force Participation in Urbanization Process: The Case of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal, Bicerli and Naci, Gundogan (2009): Female Labor Force Participation in Urbanization Process: The Case of Turkey.

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Abstract

Urbanization -as a worldwide pheonemenon- has increased its pace especially in the twentieth century in all over the World. Turkey is no exception of this process. In Turkey, urbanization has been accelerated since 1950 and it still carries on by increasing its speed. While only 25% of the population had lived in cities in 1927, nowadays this portion of the population has reached to aproximately 70.0 %. Like in many developing countries, women in rural labor markets of Turkey mostly work as unpaid family workers in agriculture and in some non-market activities such as home production and voluntary jobs. It is observed that from 1950’s to today women’s labor force participation rates (LFPRs) in urban areas have been diminished dramatically. Besides other factors that reduces women’s LFP in urban areas, ongoing migration from rural to urban areas seems to play the dominant role in this result. It appears that as a result of migration rural female workers are left without any jobs in the cities. Several factors can be taken into account to explain this transformation such as; cultural values against women’s participation in market work, women’s lack of education and marketable skills, unfavorable labor market conditions and increases in enrollment rates in all levels of schooling. In this paper, we have explained the characteristics, causes and dimensions of female labor force participation in urbanization process of Turkey.

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