Empowerment and resistance strategies of working women in Turkey: The case of 1960-70 graduates of the Girls' Institutes

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Cindoǧlu D., Toktaş Ş.

European Journal of Women's Studies, vol.9, pp.31-48, 2002 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1350506802009001380
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Women's Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-48
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


This article deals with the empowerment and resistance strategies used by working women in Turkey. In order to explore the ways in which gender ideologies are produced and resisted, a very specific group of women were studied using life history and focus group interviews. The interviews were conducted with women who had graduated between 1960 and 1970 from Girls' Institutes. The Girls' Institutes were all-female high schools and the curriculum of these institutes was particularly geared towards modern domestic, or homemaking skills. However, despite the notion of producing modern women for the domestic sphere, most of the graduates have chosen to work outside their homes. Of these working women some have remained single, some have not had children. These outcomes present a paradox. The article focuses on the resolution of these paradoxes, the power and resistance manoeuvres that women employ and their relationship to the processes of modernization and westernization in Turkey.