3.6 million jobs lost during pandemic in Turkey with women hit hardest: report

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A total of 3.6 million jobs in Turkey have been lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with women the most affected, according to a report published by the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions Research Center (DİSK-AR).

The report said the negative effects of the pandemic have become more apparent after a year and a half, with significant income and jobs loss. While 15.5 percent of women lost their jobs, 12.4 percent of men had become unemployed since the start of the pandemic.

Speaking to the Duvar news website, DİSK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu said the pandemic had a stronger impact on the labor market than they had initially thought. “The pandemic resulted in the largest loss of jobs and income in Turkish history,” she said. “Women, who were already victims of discrimination in the labor market, have suffered the most from the pandemic.”

Çerkezoğlu added that the number of women working without social security has risen dramatically in the last year and a half. “Unfortunately, government policies addressing these problems are not enough. We have witnessed that during the pandemic the exploitation of workers, with long hours and low wages, has increased dramatically.”

Mahmut Tanal, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said unemployment had hit the Turkish labor market hard. “The government has been saying that the economy grew 21.7 percent in the second quarter of 2021, but those numbers don’t coincide with the economic problems of ordinary people,” he said on Twitter on Wednesday.

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