Nilüfer Akgün

Women’s activities complement union activities

Nilüfer Akgün

Media Communication and Postal Employees Union – HABER-SEN, Trabzon, 2000s    

I believe that women’s activities complement union activities. Here we find the opportunity to come into contact with other women and get to know each other. But women have so much work to do! I know this from my work place in the  PTT (Mail, Telegraph, Television services) sector. There is a shortage of personnel. All the burden is on the clerks at the counter and on the distributors. Women’s heavy work there is followed by domestic labour when they go home after work. Gendered division of labour reigns in the domestic sphere. I think that women would come to the union if they had, at least, some time to rest. But there is no such time. In the union they are accused of staying away from activities. But the reason for this are factors created by male-dominant society. This is the case in our sector, too. A man returns home, his wife takes care of the children. He has time for self-education, reading a lot. He participates in social circles. But the woman’s job  is to take care of the house, to look after the children, to do domestic work, and to cook. And thus, very little time is left to spare for the union. Then people come up and say, women do not participate in the union. The reality is different: Women cannot find the energy to do so. 

To read the full text of Nilüfer Akgün’s oral history interview of 2017 (in Turkish) click here.