Young Women Building Their Future

What is the project about?

Young Women Building Their Future Project aims to address the challenges faced by young women not in employment, education or training (NEET), make their needs mor visible, and establish mechanisms to tackle these problems and needs.

Supported by the Sabancı Foundation, the Young Women Building Their Future Project is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Sabancı Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Family and Social Services and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

What has been the situation?

According to 2020 TUIK data, the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) between the ages of 18-29 in Turkey is 5,298,000, and the number of NEET women in this age group is 3,554.000. The rate of NEET youth between the ages of 18-29 is 34.7%.

In Turkey, the NEET share overall among young people aged 18-29 is 34.7%, but women are more affected, at 50.5 percent, against 24.4 percent for men in the same age group. These data show that one out of every two women aged 18-29 in Turkey is in the NEET class.

It is estimated that the number of women who have stopped looking for a job among the women aged 15-24 who have graduated from vocational and technical education institutions in the last 2 years, exceeds 1 million. Again, statistics reveal that there is a 16-point difference between the rates (percentages) of being in the NEET group between women and men.

The burden of care (children, the elderly, the disabled, etc.), which are among the roles and responsibilities within the family, early marriages, low education and vocational training rates are among the factors that fuel this difference. The Covid-19 pandemic has deeply affected the way of life and work, business life, sectors and economies all over the world, as well as deepening the inequalities between women and men in working life.

What is our mission?

With the project, it is aimed to draw attention to the problem of NEET young women to bring dynamism to the work of relevant stakeholders and their institutions, to increase the awareness and empowerment of NEET women, and to improve employment opportunities by increasing the competencies of “accessible” NEET women.

In line with the aims of the project, the target audience was determined as “invisible” NEET women aged 18-29 in the pilot provinces and “reachable” NEET women with the potential to transition to employment/education. When necessary, women in the 18-24 age group will be prioritized. In addition to young NEET women, employees of relevant institutions and organizations at local and central level, policy makers, opinion leaders in pilot provinces and the general public are among the target groups.

How are we doing this?

The project, which will enable young NEET women to become socially and economically empowered, aims to reach two groups of young women: "invisible" and "reachable". “Invisible” NEET women are those who have left the job market entirely, so here the project will focus on making their needs and preferences more visible to policy makers and employers. At the same time, measures will be designed and tested to provide “reachable” NEET women, those who still want employment, with the information, training and support they need.

Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Mardin, Trabzon and Van were determined as the pilot provinces of the project. To determine the needs and develop an action plan, a baseline study and needs assessment will be carried out in Adana, Diyarbakır and İzmir. Based on the analysis, capacity building and awareness raising activities, vocational training will be provided to enable NEET women to improve their employability, and consultancy and mentoring will be provided.

Within the project, NEET women will also have access to a new digital portal, “Opportunities Map,” where they will find training, internship employment opportunities, as well as modules on mentoring and online training. The portal will act as a bridge between the private sector, civil society and public institutions on opportunities for NEET women. In addition, a grant program will be carried out under the coordination of the Sabancı Foundation, which will provide grants to non-governmental organizations in 11 pilot provinces to support project activities.

How will Turkey Benefit?

The project aims to achieve the following outputs:

  • 1 Policy Recommendations Document will be prepared.
  • 25 Innovative Solution Projects will be supported.
  • A digital portal including Opportunities Map, mentoring and online training modules will be developed.
  • A high level of interaction (60 posts, videos, blogs, etc.) will be achieved on digital platforms regarding the project.
  • A total of 6 roundtable meetings will be held in the project pilot provinces (Adana, Diyarbakır, İzmir).
  • Awareness campaigns will directly reach 1,700 NEET women and indirectly 45,000 NEET women.
  • An analysis report of the current situation and needs of NEET women in Pilot Provinces (Adana, Diyarbakır, İzmir) will be prepared.
  • Rights-based capacity building/awareness trainings will be given to 800 NEET women,
  • Consultancy/mentorship support in the field of personal development will be given to 300 of the women trained.
  • NEET awareness trainings will be given to 90 employers, local government and public institution representatives.
  • Vocational skills training will be given to 450 NEET women.
  • Mentorship support will be given to 450 NEET women who receive training.
  • 30 women will be offered internship opportunities.
  • Grant support will be given to 15 women-oriented NGOs through the grant program.