Many cultures around the world produce perceptions around womanhood with some deemed appropriate and others inappropriate. Standards of judgment, codes of conduct and expectations are born out of such perceptions. How are these formed and which purposes do they serve? What type of interactions can be seen between similar definitions of womanhood in different geographies or different ideals of womanhood in the same geography? To what extent have women’s rights movements been able to produce solutions for problems related to these?
Moreover, cultural codes tend from time to time to build an identity over perceptions about “other” women. Which reality is reflected by the image of the woman who is presented by an outsider as the victim of her own culture? On the other hand, the indigenous woman can be idealized as a depository of her culture against the occupation of a foreign one. Which lived experiences are left out in civilization wars that are carried out over the identity of women?
In another context we see models of womanhood presented by the global culture. These ideal representations, which change periodically, come along with standards that are expected to be met. While women from non-rural areas have earlier been positioned within the confines of their houses, today’s urbanized woman is expected to be a well-groomed wife, a self-sacrificing mother and a career woman all at once. The authenticity of norm constructs and womanhood patterns represent serious concerns together with the freedom definitions of our day. To which extent do the expectations shaped by the global culture affect the lives and choices of women? Can we say that the variety which the local culture adds to individuals is melting down against uniform and standardized preferences?
The 5th International Women and Justice Summit, organized by KADEM in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Services, will be held on November 4-5, 2022 with the theme of “Cultural Codes and Women”. In this summit, we will be discussing norms around womanhood that are produced by various cultures in modern times, wishing to share the life experiences of women who were included in or excluded from the building process of such norms. The Summit will discuss three main questions: How are the norms that negatively affect the present and future of women built and disseminated? What types of life skills do women develop against such norms and by which methods do they survive? What can be done for women to lead a productive and satisfactory life that is free from all kinds of oppression?