Would the current pension reform improve the wellbeing of women retirees in Turkey
This paper explores the implications of pension reform on the wellbeing of women retirees in Turkey. The pension reform in Turkey has been widely researched and documented by national institutions, academics and also by international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation. However, the position of women retirees has not been specifically examined, partly due to an assumption that their welfare needs would be met by an aggregate pension reform. This inattention to women retirees was also evident in the feminist literature, which solely focused on issues of sex equality for economically active women in Turkey. This paper highlights that women retirees constitute a highly vulnerable and under-researched group and that sex discrimination in pension entitlement, which is embedded in the Turkish pension system, appears to be the main reason for the current socio-economic vulnerability of this group. Hence, this paper argues that a mainstream pension reform will only serve to further widen the inequality gap between pension benefits of female and male pensioners in Turkey and that gender equality considerations should be embedded in any future reform in order to prevent the discriminatory impact of an aggregate reform.