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Public Policy Analysis in Turkey

Past, Present and Future

Edited By Onur Kulaç, Elvettin Akman and Cenay Babaoğlu

This book presents a broad and comprehensive perspective on analysis of public policy in Turkey. Each of the twenty-six chapters presents historical development, legal background, actors, problems, and recommendations of different policies. The scope of this book is to fill the void in the literature with regards to the analyses of public policies in Turkey.

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13 A Policy Response to the Gendered Childcare in Turkey: Transformative Role of Egalitarian Parental Leave

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Ahu Sumbas

13   A Policy Response to the Gendered Childcare in Turkey: Transformative Role of Egalitarian Parental Leave

Introduction

The dramatic rise of female labor force participation after the 20th century obligated welfare states to develop various public and social policies to respond to the childcare problem of working mothers. Therefore, as scholars have long been arguing that private matters of parenting and childcare become constitutive of the political realm, and the subject of state regulations. The policy responses take different forms due to the ideological position of welfare states about gender equality and the role of the family. Accordingly, the policy responses of childcare involve various strategies and compensations such as maternal/parental leaves, pensions, family benefits, flexibility in work, publicly supported daycare, and private childcare services. Despite these policy advances during the last decades, most women are still vulnerable to an unequal division of domestic labor as primary caregivers. Considering this fact, most scholars criticize the gendered character of these policies in welfare states which allow the persistence of traditional division of gender roles, and then submit alternative policy frames to cure the embedded gender equality problem (Fraser, 1996, Sainsbury, 1994; 1999; 2013; Lewis, 1992; Morgan, 2006; Ciccia & Verloo, 2012; Kamerman & Moss, 2009). At this point, parental leave is one of the critical policy frames within this literature. Some parental leave arrangements encourage women to stay home for caring responsibilities, whereas other narrow gender equality to the advancement of female employment....

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