Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center will be hosting a webinar, “A Century of Struggle: Women’s Movements and Rights in Turkey” on 22 October 2021, 7 PM – 9 PM, Philippine Standard Time. The webinar is free and open to the public, but participation requires signing in to a basic (free) Zoom account.


Turkey was a showcase in the Middle East and the Muslim world for granting several rights to women in the 1920s and 1930s. It was also believed that women were granted these rights by the progressive nationalist leadership. Despite various legal rights and opportunities created for women and girls in the early years of the Republic of Turkey, the gender gap has remained wide. This webinar examines the struggle of the women of Turkey for their rights since the early twentieth century. While offering a corrective to the argument that women in Turkey were granted rights without a struggle, the lecture examines waves of women’s movements, their demands, achievements, and challenges, including women’s current struggle against the conservative gender policies of the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Erdogan and his allies.

The Speaker

Dr. Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat is currently a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, USA. She studies human rights, with an emphasis on women’s rights, as well as processes of democratization, globalization and development.  Her publications include numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as books: Human Rights Worldwide (2006); Human Rights in Turkey (2007, received Choice Award of Outstanding Academic Titles); and The Uses and Misuses of Human Rights (2014) [Source and View Full Profile].

About the Reactors and Moderator

REACTOR 1: Prof. Lorna Q. Israel teaches in the International Studies Department and is a faculty associate of Women and Gender Institute (WAGI), both of which are based at Miriam College, Philippines.
REACTOR 2: Carolyn S. Sobritchea, PhD currently serves as a Professorial Lecturer of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and Chair of the CHED Technical Panel on Gender and Women’s Studies. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the TESDA Women’s Center, and Vice President of the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation.
MODERATOR: Prof. Mark Salvador Ysla is currently a faculty at the Department of International Studies, and the Associate Dean of the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines. He earned his M.A. in International Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies of Sogang University in Seoul, Korea.


Organizers and Inquiries

This webinar is organized by the UP Asian Center, the Philippine-Middle East Studies Association (PMESA), the Department of International Relations of Mindanao State University Main Campus, and Mindanao State University General Santos.
The UP Asian Center offers an M.A. Program in Asian Studies with specialization on West Asia. Applications for the February 2022 intake are accepted until 19 November 2021.
For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.