Looking to development projects in turkey from empowerment approach: case studies in zümrüt-kastamonu and ovacik-tunceli

Özgüler, Cevahir
This study has discussed women’s empowerment through development projects. For this aim, development thought and practices are questioned by establishing their relationship with modernization theory and (neo)liberal politics; the theories, which include women and development, are issued historically. From these theories, Women in Development (WID) Approach, Gender and Development (GAD) Approach, and Empowerment Approach are critically discussed. In the study three points are emphasized. Firstly, the theoretical approaches have developed by articulating to each other. Secondly, the approaches have lost their transformative and political characteristics in the usage of mainstream development theoricians and institutions. It is pointed that the inclusion of women into development by the mainstream is instrumentalized for the other development goals. Thirdly, although the language of GAD and Empowerment Approaches are adopted by the mainstream, at the discursive and practical level, the dominancy of WID continues. The development projects implemented in Turkey, in the period between 1960 and 1980 and post 1980 that are significant periods of the economic and political history of Turkey, are evaluated from gender perspective and their parallel characteristics to the discourse and practices in the world are indicated. It is seen that whereas the GAD and Empowerment Approach exist in the language of the development projects implemented in Turkey, they do not reflect to the practices. Within the light of these discussions, to be able to comprehend whether the development projects provide contribution to women’s empowerment or not, two development projects that are implemented in Turkey are analyzed. The projects are assessed from the Empowerment Approach, as a current feminist approach in the development field, within the framework of power relations.


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Citation Formats
C. Özgüler, “Looking to development projects in turkey from empowerment approach: case studies in zümrüt-kastamonu and ovacik-tunceli,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2007.