The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Labor Organization (ILO) and Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on jointly promoting accessible childcare in order to encourage women’s participation in the labor force, according to a statement from the EBRD.
The three partner institutions will strengthen the capacity of municipalities in the country to enhance childcare services so that more women can seek employment opportunities and stay in the labor force.
The gender inequality has worsened for employed women during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Arvid Tuerkner, Managing Director for Turkey of the EBRD. “Now, it’s time to create a more possible environment for women so that they can be employed, not be terminated and advance their careers. Childcare solutions are critical to achieve this,” Tuerkner said.
The EBRD will provide technical support including revision of the relevant municipal law, coordinate and manage regular consultations of the policy working group as well as it will support the implementation of the group’s recommendations.
“Accessible and affordable early childhood care and education services are essential to increase employment of women,” said Numan Ozcan, Director of the ILO Turkey office.
The MoU aims to scale up accessible, quality and affordable early childhood care and education services in the country through municipalities.
“The disadvantageous groups are the ones affected most in every crisis. The MoU will empower municipalities to enhance existing childcare that goes beyond just kindergartens,” said Fatma Sahin, President of TBB and Mayor of Gaziantep.
Within the scope of the initiative, the stakeholders will work collaboratively to improve the municipal legislations on childcare issues, as well as they will advocate proposed changes among policymakers and support the implementation of new approaches in selected municipalities.