Village women work hard and keep busy at all times. Even when socializing in groups outside their homes, women spin, weave, embroider, darn socks, knit or crotchet while keeping an eye on children. In contrast, men have more time on their hands; their work in the fields is seasonal and erratic, and only a few have animals to herd. Enter any village and the first site is of men sitting around in groups near or inside the tea house, socializing. The tea house is not the domain of women. Women receive substantial sums for thier carpets on a regular basis, thus the women's share of the family income has increased dramatically. In a few cases, the weaver's export bonus alone surpasses her husband's total annual income, making the woman the main provider. This represents a major shift in gender roles within the family's economic support system. However, the increased income generated by female members of the family has not altered the expenditure pattern within the family. Men customarily handle the household expenses, and most women hand over their carpet money to their husbands. The status quo remains intact, as does the male ego. However, women now have more influence on buying decisions than they did previously. Thus, the power structures within the village family has not been disrupted, as yet. But change is in the air. Whereas most village women accept their position in the family hierarchy and are not about to usurp the husband's status as head of the household, the situation could change in the near future. Ergun, a weaver from Suleymankoy village, recently admitted she does not hand over her money to her husband, and that other women are doing the same. The battle of the sexes is about to begin! The importance of family bonds was made clear to me when the California Academy of Sciences first invited village weavers to the museum in 1990. I had assumed that women who had never left their villages would be clamoring for adventure and excited at the opportunity to visit the United states. I expected some rivalry in choosing representative weavers. this was not the case. Women are reluctant to leave their families for 2 to 3 weeks. The main advantage to them is that they can buy American consumer goods to take back as gifts to their children and husbands, and there is a certain amount of social status in being the only person in the village to have traveled by airplane to a foreign country.

— political agenda for crafts aid  

DOBAG project in Western Turkey

  • Save this Post to Scrapbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *