This article uses survey data collected from more than 500 women in Istanbul to examine whether or not religion exerts an influence on women’s decisions to work or not. Our work revealed that religion does not appear to have a direct impact on whether or not Turkish women choose to work. Rather the expectation that women fulfill their traditional roles as caregivers proves a greater obstacle for women who wish to enter the labor market. Religion, in the case of Turkey, Islam, can only be seen as an influence on Turkish women’s work decisions to the extent that it supports “patriarchal mentalities” which define women first and foremost as mothers and caregivers.

Author Biography

Mary Lou O’Neil, Dept. of American Culture and Literature, Kadir Has University, Kadir Has Caddesi Cibali, Istanbul, Turkey

Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin, International Relations Department, Istanbul Medeniyet University