The politics of women's empowerment: the transformative struggles of Kamer and Mor Çatı against violence
Kama Özelkan, Fulya (2009) The politics of women's empowerment: the transformative struggles of Kamer and Mor Çatı against violence. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1276349 (Table of Contents)
Violence against women continues to prevent women from participating in social, economic, political, and cultural life as active subjects and women’s empowerment in all fields of life that is generative of a shift in gendered power relations is one of the key mechanisms for women to transform a life of violence. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to analyze the possibilities of a feminist politics based on women’s empowerment and its transformatory potential in women’s lives at two levels with a particular focus on two renowned women’s organizations in Turkey, KAMER and Mor Çatı. The first level of analysis is the individual women who are active and who get involved in these women’s organizations. It is questioned that how the individual and collective empowerment strategies of these women open up a multi-dimensional and transformative space that is productive of lasting changes in women’s lives. Women’s organizing around the shared grounds of oppression and subordination as well as violence lead women to question their lives as the first steps of their own empowerment processes. So they become “aware” of the “political-ness” of their “private” experiences. Therefore, the emphasis on becoming “aware” of women’s internalized oppressions plays a crucial role and is a recurrent theme of this study. The second one is on organizational level that scrutinizes the tensions involved in women’s organizations doing “projects” on women’s empowerment. An analysis of to what extent women’s empowerment “projects” present alternatives to the development models and how the term “project feminism” is tackled by women’s organizations helps to reveal the tensions of feminist organizing in the Turkish context. The focus on Mor Çatı’s and KAMER’s participation in development practices in the form of “projects” on women’s empowerment serves furthermore to articulate the challenge they present to the mainstream developmentalist framework.
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