Empowerment of women through non-formal education programs in Turkey

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2017




Women’s empowerment programs are carried out in Turkey through various but shared contexts. These aim women’s empowerment through various methods which all aim different dimension of women’s empowerment. These dimensions reveal the common areas of women’s empowerment as benefits of the programs, whereas show the limitations. This study aims to research the effects of these programs for women; while also questioning the methods used in non-formal education programs. Through the research of two main empowerment programs that carries an economic feature and two other shorter ones we concluded that: 1) As a result of the programs, women reach the stage of psychological empowerment whereas collective work and political mobilization of women in these programs are very limited or absent that is a necessity for women’s empowerment, to go beyond a personal transformation to a social change. 2) Women’s relational empowerment is observed in their familial and public relations through the increase in self-confidence and communication skills. 3) Improvement in awareness raising and critical thinking on gender issues are observed whereas women’s knowledge on gender disparity do not necessarily change gender division of labor at home. Knowledge and practice are not always in concord with each other. 4) Women’s consciousness can rise through dialogue whereas women’s rivalries and quarrels create obstacles in the programs that raise questions on women’s solidarity and usage of power. 5) In high levels, methods in the literature are in compliance with the methods used in these programs in terms of interactive learning, women’s experiences and the sessions connection besides participation; whereas women’s experiences and needs have little or no impact in making planning decisions in the beginning of the empowerment programs.