Private sector partnerships and male engagement

Photo Credit: Tayfun Dalkılıç / UN Women Turkey

Gender inequalities often result from patriarchal attitudes, deep-rooted stereotypes and related social norms regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society. Achieving gender equality requires transforming unequal power relations between men and women, eliminating harmful gender stereotypes, challenging notions of masculinity and traditional perceptions of manhood, and supporting women in the community and workplace.

Women in Turkey bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work. They spend more than four times the number of hours on unpaid house and care work than men. Women’s participation on the labour market is significantly lower than that of men, and a substantial share of women’s employment is in the informal sector. Gender inequalities also persist in the private sector where women are underrepresented in leadership and decision-making positions. Women are largely employed in traditional jobs and confront sexism and violence in the workplace, along with barriers to professional development. The gender wage gap is estimated at 15.6 per cent in Turkey, and widens with age and for women who are mothers.

UN Women in Action in Turkey

Engagement of men and boys in advancing gender equality

UN Women Turkey works to mobilize men and boys as equal partners for gender equality and women’s empowerment and challenge patriarchal beliefs, practices, and structures. UN Women coordinates the global solidarity movement HeForShe, an advocacy and partnership platform that engages men and boys to stand in solidary with women. With the support of the private sector including HeForShe Impact Champions, such as Koç Holding, Vodafone, Unilever, Accor Hotels, PwC, as well as civil society, universities and youth, UN Women Turkey has been engaging men and boys as equal partners for gender equality since 2015.

Recognizing the power of sports to propel gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment, UN Women Turkey is collaborating with Koç Holding and Fenerbahçe Sports Club, which is one of the most popular multi-sports clubs in Turkey with a fan base of 25 million people around the world. In 2018, Fenerbahçe Sports Club joined forces with UN Women under HeForShe movement, with the support of Tüpraş, one of the companies of Koç Holding and a WEPs signatory, to become an inclusive sports club to advance gender equality and empower women and girls in sports.

This unique partnership works to:

  • Set an example in sports by becoming a gender-responsive sports club;
  • Develop and follow principles and guidelines for a gender-responsive sports institution;
  • Train and build capacity to mobilize male and female allies in sports;
  • Implement a zero-tolerance approach to all sorts of discrimination against women and girls;
  • Advocate for gender equality, ending violence against women and challenging stereotypes in sports.

UN Women also works with partners to increase the involvement of men in childcare and child development, equal sharing of household responsibilities, and prevention of gender-based violence and harmful practices like child marriages. UN Women supports  research on the challenges and opportunities for advancing men’s engagement in gender equality.

Private sector partnerships

UN Women Turkey works to increase gender equality and women’s leadership and participation in businesses and the private sector through the global Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). WEPs is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. Companies commit to the WEPs to foster business practices that empower women, both internally with their employees, and externally with suppliers and customers. With more than 370 WEPs signatories Turkey is among the global WEPs champions.

Unstereotype Alliance Turkey aims to set an example for business and society by breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality. Launched in 2019, the Unstereotype Alliance Turkey chapter is a coalition of gender equality champion advertisers, brands and companies that work to eliminate gender stereotypes in advertising. Convened by UN Women Turkey, the platform is led by Reklamverenler Derneği (Advertisers Association). The founding members of the alliance are Avon, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Eczacıbaşı Holding, Eti Gıda, Johnson&Johnson, Kantar Media, Koç Holding, P&G, Publicis Groupe, Unilever, Vodafone, WPP. In 2021, IPG/Mullenlowe, GSK and Bayer have joined the alliance.

The goals of the Alliance are to:

  • Foster a business culture without gender stereotypes
  • Develop principles for businesses to create portrayals in advertising that is free from stereotypes
  • Drive social change to end stereotypes and discrimination through communications and awareness-raising