Gender Inequity in Working Adolescents & Searchs for Solutions in Girls’ Point of View



FISEK INSTITUTE Science & Action Foundation for Child Labour, Turkey Email :


The discrimination against girls and boys is very deep and traditinonal in our society. This deep discrimination, starts with birth and continues for a life time. In this paper, we want to evaluate gender inequity in adolescents, for a period where there is such a chance that the situation could be held within – the adolescent age.


According to the statistical works performed in our country, it is a known fact that the fraction of reading/writing capability in for girls are much more fewer compared to the boys – likewise, the ratio also applies to university applicants concerning the gender allocation. Furthermore, only 30% of the insured workers are women. Primary education is obligatory in our country. While being 5 years before, the primary education is raised to 8 years recently. First impressions indicate that, specifically girls are not to be sent to school after a total of 5 years. Due to the year‑1994 data, number of children under age of 18 that are working recorded or non-recorded is about 4 millions. Families do not tolerate adolescent girls working under payment, however they are willing to send their boys on the first oppurtinity concerning work. Primary aim in sending male children to employment is to have them aditional income, but before that being in a occupation comes. On the contrary this is not same for the girls. Their occupation is certain: They will get married, then will become housewives and bearing lots of children whom they will look after them. However, economical difficulties demand families to have their girls work, but it’s not permitted for girls to have a career education, and it’s requested that they progress towards highly profitable jobs. Still nobody considers this process as a way of losing their health and childhood as the price. The fact that the concept in the working of girls ‘to resign when married’ leaves them unoccupied and without any alternative on marriage. The idea is, having them to be ruled by their husbands after their fathers. Deprived of economical freedom, children given birth forces the woman to a state of ‘a household prisoner’. Later on, economical difficulties forces the woman to work, but this time to support her new house. However she’s no more an adolescent and she’s got no occupation. This time she’s a labourer lacking quality and she’s got to support her family overwhelmed under harsher conditions. It’s only her working both at house and job.


All of the observations and investigations show that, special programs must be carried out for girls at an adolescent age. Accompanying technical abilities, an independent character, conscious of human rights and able to act together with the other girls should be aimed. Fisek Institute has proposed a first example of carrying out a model in this direction. Taking the advantage of the experiences gained from this model, ‘a youth house’ for working girls is projected forward. In order to remove gender inequity, early inequalities shall be removed while keeping girls in work life.


Before all, family origin has a determining character here. The daughter of the family living in rural area already has found her in the working life. In one day, she may be both in field or garden and may overtaken the care of her little brothers and sisters. Changing according to the region they are seen who are in seasonal labour, waged labour, this relation is set because of a work done with whole members of the family. During this life there is no place for reading and writing and education. In Turkey one third of the women are illeterate. Since 5 years ago the compulsory education period was 5 years and after primary school the continuing persons’ 39.3% are women. Now the biggest resistance in 8 years compulsory education comes from girl families. For an adolescent girl who lives in rural area the marriage is near. But the above described power and skill effect her marriage. Mostly in agricultural works depending to power, the woman spouse will continue her work which she has done in her young ages, therefore more successful ones have more chancefor marriage. That means, both in adolescent age and in marriage the girl labour are used first by father than by husband, this is described as common shared life. But what attracts attention is that in this shared life ‘against law’ the legal rights of the girl such as speech and property has no equal value. This cultural character together with immigration of the family to the city, immigrate with the family, meets with similars in crowded slums. The biggest misfortune here is that there aren’t any sufficent institutions which give them ‘urban’ values, support them ‘educationally, culturally’. So the traditional role known to girls, by also the effect of the religious groups reaching them is house prison (waiting husband). For the girls who let live in such close environments, to participate in waged labour relations,is the only way to respire and to get know the city culture. Especially with the anxiety of giving response to the families hopes but certainly because it benefits the employer the pressure order continues in the place of work too. While entering to work, the girls who see the labour life as emancipation, in few years, with the effect of other cultural effects, begin to dream differens emancipation dream: Marriage. Since they will get of the working life when married, they don’t consider the vocational education or a carrier and unqualified labour for them and their families is turned into a goal. It is difficult to live in the city. Even gets married her spouse cannot always maintain then subsistence. The superior rol of the spouse using the money causes him not to give money to house sometimes, when husband dies or leaves home women has to return to work again. But as unqualified and unskilled and most oppressed factor’ What we tell you here is not a tale, real face of a tale which girls listen while growing up. It is estimated that in Turkey the people who live in rural area formes the 40% of the society and increasing mechanisation and decreases in agricultural inputs three fourth of this will immigrate to urban places. That means Turkey will live these realities for a long time and these immigrations will determine the cultural formation in big scale. How can this destination be effected ? Not to live the girls outside the education and vocational process, for that they have to be conscious of their rights. What we want is first to the girls, then to their families to present the urban values and changing transformed society’s future. At the center we name ‘Youth Center for Girls’ we aim to

  • present their rights, to let gain independent identity and develop self confidence
  • tell them they are not alone and without alternative
  • let them gain technical skilled professions (and traditionally not being a woman’s job).

We give the name ‘Youth Center for Girls’ to this project.