The article examines the evolution of gender policies in the field of vocational education in Turkey since the beginning of the 20th century up to the present. Schools for girls started to emerge in Turkey at the beginning of the republican era. Their aim was to teach students about gender roles consistent with the trend of modernization and westernization of the new Turkish state. The ideology of a modern conservative party ruling in the Republic of Turkey is based on the traditional role of women as home keepers, while the country’s legislative system undergoes changes that provide women with independency. This policy is full of contradictions, namely, changes in legislation are aimed at improving education and employment of women, while women are encouraged to remain housewives. Despite the fact that women received equal rights to education after the Law on Unification of Education was adopted in 1924, gender inequality is still an issue in modern Turkish society. There is a strong legal framework at the state level and executive authorities that provide girls and women with free access to education and promote learning. Statistical data show that the education system still has many unresolved issues concerning the learning opportunities of girls and their employment. According to recent statistics, a very small group of girls goes on to secondary education in the Republic of Turkey. In 2011, only 24% of girls completed their secondary education that is the lowest level in the countries of OESD. Amazingly low percentage of girls involved in secondary education system can be explained by two objective factors: socioeconomic status of girls′ families and gender discrimination. Vocational schools for girls are designed to resolve this issue.
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