Packing women’s compromises and tactics against patriarchy In Mersin Hâl

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014

Thesis Language: English

Student: Simge Sönmez



The main objective of this study is to understand women's working conditions by examining compromises and daily tactics of working women as packing women who have worked at Mersin Gross Bazaar [Hâl] as highly patriarchal workplace. Packing as a job is described by 'women job' because it requires to sit all day, be docile, and have nimble fingers and a good taste. Therefore, packing women were invited to work in Hâl by employers through 'sergeants'. Although, they are hired because of their 'feminine' features like docility, nimble fingers and capability of cooking and cleaning; they are inferior and male workers are superior in the workplaces. As a result of that, they do not feel secure while working with male co-workers because of possibility of gossips, insults, sexual harassments or violence. They have produced and used several tactics and compromises in order to feel safer in the Hâl. They have taken benefits from occupational gender segregation not to rival male workers in packing jobs. Also, they are invisible in the Hâl because of both the structure of the workplaces and preferring not to be visible in order to avoid possible gossips and sexual harassments. Moreover, they called their male co-workers as 'brothers' and 'fathers' to prevent possible intimate relations within workplaces. Lastly, 'honor' is an obligation to work as packing women. Otherwise, women without honor are accepted as 'floozy' women who are willingly to involve in intimate relations with other men. I claim that if proper social policies would apply in such a patriarchal workplace, working women might not need such kind of tactics and compromises which prevent women to have long term gain.