Turkish Women and Change in the 20th Century

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Gender segragation is always a major problem for Middle Eastern countries. Things have changed a lot for Turkish women in the 20th century. After the reforms of Atatürk, women had more rights than they had. These articles talk about the Turkish women and change in the early 20th century. There are four issues that are discussed in detail. First one is education. Second issue is legal reforms. Third issue is that whether the rights given to women are fought for or given by the government. And finally, last issue is that whether the rights were enjoyed equally by the entire female population or not. First issue is education which is an important institution for a country to develop. Atatürk gave great importance to education. Zehra Arat states that "Kemalist reforms were not aimed at liberating women or at promoting the development of female identity" ( 58). She thinks that Ataürk gave importance to women's education to make them better wives and mothers. What she differs from other writers is that she critices Ataürk harshly. But she doesn't talk about Ataürk's adopted child Sabiha Gökçen who was a pilot. If Atatürk was giving importance to education of women just because to make them better wives and mothers, why would he let her own child to be a pilot? We all can see that a women pilot can't be a very good mother. I think Zehra Arat should have talked about that. Zehra Arat shows us that there were differences between the curriculums of boys and girls. Girls were taught sewing, child care and courses like that while boys were taught handiwork. She also states that "female students were carefuly examined by their teachers" (71). These are very important points because we still see that today in our schools, girls are more carefully controlled in some senses. Second issue is legal reforms.

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