An Analysis of Gendering of Space in Historical Hospitals of Anatolia


  • Gulsen Disli Necmettin Erbakan University



Gendered space, gendered architecture, segregation, historic hospitals, Anatolia


Medical ethics, clinical practices, as well as privacy considerations affected the gender-space relationship in spaces of healing. Researchers to date have been analysed the historical hospitals of Anatolia in terms of their architecture, planning, art history, history of medicine, and even in terms of their functional systems, but not yet regarding their gendered space segregation. There are also limited studies related to the gender, religion, and secularism in historical hospitals outside of Anatolia. Hence, in this paper, historical hospitals of Anatolia have been chosen as case studies and analysed from the point of gendered perspective including how privacy, religion, culture, and gender issues shaped their architecture and planning. In Ottoman Empire, it is known that among the palace elites, there was limited access of women patients to the male doctors, but documented evidence of female attendants being employed in Ottoman hospitals belongs to later periods. In Ottoman dynasty there were also female patrons constructed hospitals for women and for the general public, demonstrating the power and status of women in the Ottoman palace. In addition, based on travellers’ accounts, old drawings, gravures, and archival resources, it is understood that there were separate units for women in Anatolian historical hospital. Those units included the patients’ rooms, wards, latrines, and even courtyards. The research showed that in Anatolian hospitals as the spaces for physical healing and medical training, gendered-space segregation have been acknowledged, at least to some extent in some certain space arrangements. 



How to Cite

Disli, G. (2021). An Analysis of Gendering of Space in Historical Hospitals of Anatolia. Kadın/Woman 2000, Journal for Women’s Studies, 22(1), 1–24.