A Social History of Late Ottoman Women by Duygu Köksal

By Duygu Köksal

In "A Social historical past of the past due Ottoman Women," Duygu Koksal and Anastasia Falierou compile new examine on ladies of alternative geographies and groups of the past due Ottoman Empire focusing fairly at the ways that ladies won strength and exercised agency."

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G. Zarouhi, “Հիվանդապահ կիները” [Nurses] Byouzandyon 2605 (9 April 1904). 23 ‘Reformer’ refers to male and female activists of the Armenian millet who in most cases worked independently from the decision-making authorities, but nonetheless sought to influence decision-making and governing procedures within the Armenian millet by creating a “public” opinion through writings, literary salons, etc. theater as career for ottoman armenian women 37 In debates defending women’s labor in and outside the home, lowerclass women were of lesser interest; the issue was most pressing with the declining middle class, both in concrete terms and in regard to discourses creating consensus on work within the women’s movement.

For example, seclusion and segregation of the sexes were ‘culturally’ accepted among Armenians as among other millets,10 though these practices may not have had the same critical importance as they did for the Muslim population, since the Armenian millet was not officially bound by Islam and/or its interpretation. Nevertheless, as Badran notes in the context of Egypt, although Greek, Jewish, and Armenian women were freer to innovate and set precedents, “they could not confer legitimacy. ”11 Seclusion and segregation practices were weakening toward the end of the nineteenth century and women were active promoters of this change.

While employment was always a principal demand of the emancipation movement, the writer Hâlide Nusret declared it a masculine responsibility incompatible with fragile feminine nature. Nusret ultimately conceded to the necessity of women’s work in the case of financial difficulties that many families faced in wartime. Education was promoted not for achieving equality with men but as a means for creating mature women capable of optimally performing their duties as mothers and wives. Metinsoy shows how special importance was given to young girls’ physical appearance at school; it was argued that modesty and morality should dictate students’ clothing choices.

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