Profiles of Women in STE in Turkey


Literacy Rate (2006)  98%
Primary School Enrollment (2006)  87%
Secondary School Enrollment  N/A
Tertiary School Enrollment (2006)  24%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering


2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  28%
Wage Equality for Similar Work (Ratio of women’s wage to men’s wage)  0.64
Enterprise-Level Policies to Combat and Prevent Sexual Harassment  3.22
    • Education is compulsory from age 6-14. All public schools are free, coeducational, secular institutions. Science and math education begins in primary school and continues on the secondary school as part of the curriculum. There are two types of secondary schools, vocational and lycees (general education). Vocational schools are four years and prepare students with a job skill, which include technical training skills for boys, and domestic science skills for girls. The lycees prepare students for higher education. A two year middle school program is also compulsory, but loosely enforced by government. It seems more practical for families, especially those living in poverty, to keep children at home rather than sending them to school . Education for women seems to depend on socioeconomic factors. Urban women from middle class to upper middle class tend to be better educated than working class women.
    • The Turkish school system is designed to develop bright young scientists. Both female and male students are required to take intensive math and science programs in secondary school. Prior to graduation, they must take a two-day exam on the subjects, and this determines which university the student can attend, and what field they are to study. In the end, both male and female students are well-prepared in math and science .
    • Women are making a presence in the science and technology workplace. In the country’s best universities, one third of the mathematicians and physicists are women, two thirds of the chemists are women, one fifth of the engineers are women, and two of the six deans are women. Because of close ties with the European Science Foundation and NATO, increased fellowships and grant monies are available for women scientists. However, obstacles in career advancements are still prevalent, and the low salary offered in academia is a problem. Of course the traditional role of women still creates a dilemma for women wanting to pursue a career. The duties of the household and family often compete with the time-consuming careers. The role of women is transforming as they are slowly being accepted into the workplace. Women make up about 28% of the workforce in Turkey. Women are generally found in teaching, health care, or clerical positions. Although the government guarantees equal rights between men and women in the workplace and social settings, traditional values of gender segregation still permeates many social environments.


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