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turkey to hold husbands in debt, control children’s labor, and advise and influence male leaders. Images of Hausa women as agents illustrate how they are socially, economically, politically, and culturally active within and despite the domesticity that dominates their lives. These Muslim women are in control of their own lives, their children, and the economic and other affairs of their households. Such women are seen to have strong networks within and beyond the domestic realm and to be powerful, active traders, courtesans, Bori adepts, and so on. Some argue that because Hausa women subvert the restrictions of domesticity they are not victims. For example, while women may not be able to choose to reject seclusion, they can and do manipulate its conditions, constantly devising ways to exploit and work around restrictions of occupying and being occupied by the domestic. Despite their limited spatial mobility and physical restriction to the domestic space of the courtyard and home (gida), secluded Muslim Hausa wives have an impact (albeit indirect) on external political affairs through influencing their husbands and the upbringing of their children. This is especially true for the elite, most domesticated, and tightly secluded of all Hausa women – the royal wives in the Kano Palace. A tiny minority of highly educated Hausa women scholars and poets (mostly from the past, but some today) are similarly portrayed as influential in political and social matters, albeit from within their domestic roles as model wives and mothers. The discourse that emphasizes women’s agency sees Hausa women occupying domestic women’s worlds that are portrayed as sites of strength and separateness, reflecting feminine value systems. This is a valorization of the domestic, private sphere in which men are not welcomed and from which they remain largely absent. It is a domesticity within which women are viewed as culturally autonomous, active agents (rather than passive victims) who wield the potential for subverting established male power. Thus, although appearing thoroughly domesticated, Muslim women in Northern Nigeria resist domestication through covert or indirect bargaining (albeit not in overt organized ways), in face-to-face relations with husbands, children, co-wives, other kin, friends, and neighbors with such strategies as diversion of food, income, or labor resources. Bibliography J. Boyd and B. B. Mack, Women’s Islamic literature in Northern Nigeria. 150 years of tradition, 1820–1970, in K. W. Harrow (ed.), The marabout and the muse. New approaches to Islam in Islamic literature, London 1996, 142–58.

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B. Callaway, Muslim Hausa women in Nigeria. Tradition and change, New York 1987. C. Coles and B. B. Mack (eds.), Hausa women in the twentieth century, Madison, Wis. 1991. A. M. Imam, Politics, Islam, and women in Kano, Northern Nigeria, in V. M. Moghadam (ed.), Identity politics and women. Cultural reassertions and feminisms in international perspective, Boulder, Colo. 1994, 123–44. A. Koko and J. Boyd, Nana Asma±u, in B. Awe (ed.), Nigerian women in historical perspective, Lagos 1992, 37–54. R. Longhurst, Resource allocation and the sexual division of labor. A case study of a Moslem Hausa village in northern Nigeria, in L. Beneria (ed.), Women in development, New York 1982, 95–117. B. B. Mack, Authority and influence in the Kano harem, in F. Kaplan (ed.), Queens, queen mothers, priestesses and power. Case studies in African gender, New York 1997, 159–72. S. O’Brien, Pilgrimage, power, and identity. The role of the Hajj in the lives of Nigerian Hausa Bori adepts, in Africa Today 46 (1999), 10–40. R. Pittin, Houses of women. A focus on alternative lifestyles in Katsina City, in C. Oppong (ed.), Female and male in West Africa, London 1983, 291–302. ——, Social status and economic opportunity in urban Hausa society, in F. A. Ogunsheye et al. (eds.), Nigerian women and development, Ibadan 1988, 264–79. E. Robson, Wife seclusion and the spatial praxis of gender ideology in Nigerian Hausaland, in Gender, Place and Culture. Journal of Feminist Geography 7 (2000), 179–99. E. Schildkrout, Hajiya Husaina. Notes on the life history of a Hausa woman, in P. W. Romero (ed.), Life histories of African women, London 1988, 78–98. E. B. Simmons, A case-study in food production, sale and distribution, in R. Chambers, R. Longhurst, and A. Pacey (eds.), Seasonal dimensions to rural poverty, London 1981, 73–80. M. F. Smith, Baba of Karo. A woman of the Muslim Hausa, London 1954, repr. 1981. ——, Baba of Karo [in Hausa], Kano 1991. Elsbeth Robson

Turkey After the foundation of the republic in 1923, Turkey went through an immense and profound process of modernization, which in the Turkish case meant the adoption of Western social, cultural, and economic structures and the abolition of traditional institutions. As part of this grand project, the Kemalist reforms were initiated, which radically affected the status of women. Such reforms included the introduction of a secular Civil Code that banned polygamy and granted women enhanced property rights. Although women had property rights in the Ottoman Empire, the scope and the use of such rights remained very limited and covered only upper-class and educated women. With the reforms, however, the scope of property rights expanded to a universal scale. In addition, all free


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religious schools were banned; primary education was made compulsory for both boys and girls; and Western codes of dressing were supported. These reforms were significant in their ascription of a new role for women, who were to take part in the public sphere as a sign of Westernization. The republican elites were of the opinion that women were not only to act as a medium of modernization but were also to take on an instrumental role. Women as homemakers and as mothers who would raise the future generations of citizens according to the ideals of the state were to distribute the values of the republic and to construct a modern family. This was not a means of confining women to the domestic sphere; in addition to their roles in the household, women were to take part in the public sphere by way of education and work. Although the Kemalist reforms resulted in the increasing visibility of women in the public sphere, this reflected more the case of elite families in urban areas who were committed to the republican ideals (Abadan-Unat 1991, 183). The peripheral masses, mostly in rural areas, were dominated by Islamic values that asserted the segregation of the sexes and confined women to domesticity. This section of society was reluctant to send its daughters to schools beyond primary level. In order to convince traditional families to allow their daughters to be educated without disrupting the patriarchal ideology and prescribed gender roles, in the 1930s the Turkish state started to establish girls’ institutes in accordance with the Kemalist reforms. This development illustrates the consensus between the Kemalist modernizers and the traditional families on the gender roles of women centered on domesticity. The girls’ institutes were single-sex educational institutes at high school level where daily contact with the opposite sex was curtailed. In these schools students were trained to be good housewives and mothers. The establishment of the girls’ institutes emerged out of a policy of compromise between the state and the society: female children were to be educated, but along the lines of their gender roles and not in a coeducational environment. With the girls’ institutes, the state would ensure women’s education and women would spread a modern and Westernized lifestyle to society. The education program of the girls’ institutes served to rationalize and modernize domesticity. Subjects offered at the institutes included needlework, handicrafts, knitting, courtesy, painting, child development, family economics, nutrition, and so forth. With the aim of becoming good housewives, the students were taught how to sew and iron Western attire, how to welcome guests

with Western etiquette, how to use dinner services and serve food at a table. At a time when food was eaten with wooden spoons on the floor, these courses served to implement the modern lifestyle. In order to become good mothers, the students were taught how to bring up the future generation with scientific and medical knowledge. For instance, they learned that feeding bottles and diapers needed to be sterile and that when children became ill, they were not to be cured by old wives’ techniques but by medical doctors and nurses. After centuries of women doing the same work of mothering and housekeeping, transferring their know-how from generation to generation, students were now being taught in public institutions with schoolteachers under a scientific curriculum. The institutes’ objective of modernizing traditional femininity in the service of the republic’s orientation toward the West resulted in two paradoxes (Ç. Toktaç 2002, 427). First, although these schools trained students how to be good housewives, some of the graduates did not become housewives exclusively. With the high school diplomas they had earned they worked in the public sphere as civil servants in state offices such as post offices or banks. Second, among the graduates who chose to work, some did not marry and become mothers as anticipated (motherhood in Turkey is strictly confined to marriage). These outcomes became possible with the specific track of Turkish modernity and the opportunities it offered to women. The Kemalist reforms, imposed from above, enabled women to take part in the public sphere and women in return adopted these reforms willingly and elaborated them. Women who perceived themselves empowered by education and work were able to stand on their own feet. Women were able to redefine their gender roles and take a greater part in public life. In 1974, the girls’ institutes were changed into girls’ vocational high schools and the educational program was reformed. The restructured schools prioritized vocational education and employment. Due to the industrialization of Turkey and the incompatibility of the former education program with the labor markets, the curricula of the vocational schools were more oriented toward the needs of industry. Today, the courses given at girls’ vocational high schools are industrial design, textile painting and weaving, pastry cooking, interior decoration, food analysis, electronics, jewelry making, hairdressing, and the like. The change from the girls’ institutes to vocational high schools marks the difference in the approach to women: the former aimed to produce housewives and mothers, the latter members of the workforce.


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turkey Bibliography N. Abadan-Unat, The impact of legal and educational reforms on Turkish women, in N. R. Keddie and B. Baron (eds.), Women in Middle Eastern history. Boundaries in sex and gender, London 1991, 177–94.

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Ç. Toktaç, Engendered emotions. Gender awareness of Turkish women mirrored through regrets in the course of life, in Women’s Studies International Forum 25 (2002), 423–31. Çule Toktaç

Domesticity in Turkey  

2005 Domesticity in Turkey