Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 6, No. 3 (2009)

Toward Equal Rights for Women in Turkey: Nonformal Education and the Law

Mary Ann Maslak, St Johnís University


The study of civil rights, one element of the social sciences curricula, has direct implications for recipients of the educational process. Academicians, policy makers, and practitioners alike have expressed concern that adult women without a formal education may not have basic understanding of these rights. The purpose of this paper is to examine the civil rights taught in a curriculum used in one non-formal education literacy class for women in Turkey, and their relationship to official law. The first section of the paper offers a brief background of the status of womenís literacy in Turkey and general information on the system of non-formal education. Next, the piece provides a review of the literature pertaining to civil rights curriculum in general and adult literacy education in Turkey. The methodology section is followed by a content analysis of the programís curriculum. Connections are made between Turkish law and civil rights in the last section of the work. We conclude this non-formal educational programís curriculum offers the learner academic content knowledge about civil rights through real-life situations. Recommendations for increased participatory activities that link womenís understanding of the material with individual and collective action to assert their civil rights are offered.

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