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Women’s empowerment in the period of the rapid expansion of higher education in Turkey: Developments and paradoxes of gender equality in the labour market

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/07/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Higher Education
Number of pages20
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/07/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Turkey has experienced an expansion in its higher education sector over the last 15 years, fuelled by the cancellation of tuition fees, the establishment of at least one public university in each city, an increase in the number of foundation universities, and the abolition of the headscarf ban. Within this period, women have overtaken men in terms of higher education attainment. In this paper, we study whether this development has gone alongside improved gender equality in the labour force. We analyse household labour force survey data for the years 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2017 to track the changes in core SDG5-indicators for gender equality: labour force participation, gender segregation in employment, and the gender pay gap. Overall, we find that women with higher education still enter the labour force at a significantly higher rate than women without higher education. While both the occupational gender segregation and the gender wage gap persist among graduates, these gaps remain relatively small when compared to other countries. Our analysis shows that higher education has contributed significantly to the development of a somewhat more equal labour market outcomes for the most recent cohort, despite the nuanced and entrenched gender inequalities that are difficult to change.

Bibliographic note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00587-2