Consciousness, awareness, and questioning

Elif Akgül

Education and Science Workers’ Union – Eğitim Sen, Ankara, from the 1990s till the 2000s


In some of the KESK branches, there was prejudice against the Women’s Secretariat. The idea was that a Women’s Secretariat was not necessary, and that it could cause splits in the union, KESK.  This was debated at length in the branches of the trade union. Finally, in the General Assembly the formation of the Women’s Secretariat was approved by the majority. I acted as Women’s Secretary in 2000. First we had an introductory meeting with the Women’s Secretaries from the branches.  This was also a training activity. The women who attended the meeting gave us hope. They were all bright, sparkling. Our basic aims were consciousness-raising, awareness and questioning. This meeting was a turning point for us. The first step in our activities turned out to be training. Because training was necessary especially for consciousness-raising and awareness. The second step was to organise union conferences and to facilitate campaign work in line with the suggestions of the training sessions. We pursued these activities in solidarity with the women’s movement.


To read the full text of Elif Akgül’s oral history interview of 2016 (in Turkish) click here.

To watch the video of Elif Akgül on “The functions and the importance of women secretaries (in Turkish)” click below.