One day women will be listened to in Turkey
A notice hung on the cafeteria door of a high school in the Mediterranean province of Isparta in 2013, announcing that male and female students should eat lunch separately, started out as an pilot implementation. After condemnations poured in on social media and some parents complained, the school board put an end to this measure.
Later, at Iğdır University’s Faculty of Theology in 2016, a decision was taken for female and male students to be taught in separate classes.
“The nature of a theology student cannot accept coeducation,” said one student. “I believe this practice, starting in this classroom, can be carried to many other areas of society,” said another.
At the start of 2017, a secondary school principal in the southern province of Mersin banned male and female students from sitting together.
“If any parents or students object to this measure, they will be told: ‘It is the order of the principal,’” said the principal after controversy arose.
Following reactions from some families, teachers, and social media users, the principal was suspended from duty.
Last spring, a school trip under the heading “Youths following in the footsteps of their ancestors,” organized for 11th grade students by Pamukkake Municipality in the Denizli province, was organized separately for girls and boys.
Also last year, an announcement on the website of a high school in Konya stated that starting from 2017, “male and female students will continue their education in separate classes.” Upon reactions in social media, an investigation was opened into the principal of the school.
Most recently, a gender-segregated cafeteria was opened in a state school, with male and female students lining up separately under blue and pink boards. “The measure has been taken so that female students are not offended at lunchtime,” said the principal of the school.
Mixed student hostels are banned
It was also notified earlier this year that all mixed student accommodation would not be able to continue, with a decision made to provide separate accommodation services for female and male students. It was announced that all the institution-opening and business-operating companies that do not follow these rules would be closed down.
It is not in the nature of women to sit silently and obey. So it was quite distressing to see female students at Iğdır University were satisfied with the segregation of their classes based on gender.
“We could not express ourselves enough in an environment alongside male students. We were too shy and preferred not to talk,” said one of the female students.
One of the biggest problems in this country is social and gender inequality. It is an order that silences women and lets men talk.
Getting women to take part in social life more freely and equally is not achieved by separating them from men from a young age, but by showing them that they can be in the same environment and at the same level together.
Males and females have much to learn from each other. They can improve, develop self-confidence and evolve by getting to know each other.
Those who try to separate boys and girls in schools, hostels and cafeterias are only sharpening social gender inequality. They are making huge mistakes against the social existence of women.
Women can learn to object and to exercise self-defense only if they grow up in the same environment as men. How can we expect men and women who did not grow up in the same environment together one day have healthy contact with each other at home or in an office?
If girls are too shy to speak out because of boys in a classroom, then the fault lies with the education system or the teacher. Because it is not in the nature of women to sit silent in the corner and obey.
Despite every obstacle, one day the words of women will be listened to as much as those of men. You will see.