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Gender relations, women's empowerment and micro-credit: A case study from turkey

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Title: Gender relations, women's empowerment and micro-credit: A case study from turkey
Author: Savli, Zeynep Tugba
Department: Department of Political Science
Advisor: Clark, Janine
Abstract: This thesis investigates the extent to which micro-credit programmes are able to contribute the empowerment of women. This thesis brings forth empirical evidence from Turkish Grameen Micro-Credit Project. Field research for the thesis, which was carried out in Diyarbakir, Turkey, relied on qualitative research techniques. Interviews were conducted with TGMP officers and in-depth personal interviews were carried out with sixteen of the organization's women loan recipients. This dissertation argues that women's empowerment can only be realized effectively when micro-credit schemes are explicitly committed to improve women's subordinated position in the society through addressing gender issues at the design and implementation of their programme. Otherwise, as the research on the TGMP reveals, when micro-credit schemes are mainly concerned with poverty alleviation, they do not result in social, political and economic empowerment of women in a substantial way since gender relations prevailing in the society mediate the impacts of having access to the micro-credit loans.
Date: 2008
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