Microcredit to women as a poverty alleviation tool: the case of turkish grameen microcredit programme in Diyarbakir

Çakmak, Dicle
Alleviation of poverty has become a major issue in the agenda of many countries and there is a search for a cure for this issue in social policy environment. For the last few decades, i.e., since the establishment of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, microcredit programmes have been used an important tool that is used to combat increasing poverty in both developing and developed world. The importance of this tool also comes from the fact that the target group of microfinance institutions is mainly women. The popularity of this poverty alleviation tool has reached to Turkey at the very beginning of 2000s. In this context, whether and/or to what extent microcredit is effective in taking women and their families out of poverty becomes a major question. Based on the assumption that poverty is a multidimensional issue, the main aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between micro credit and poverty. This relationship will be understood by looking deeply at women’s lives through semi-structured interviews with beneficiaries of Diyarbakır office of Turkish Grameen Microcredit Programme. As a result of this study, it is found that a few women become entrepreneurs and engage in economic activities. Rather, they generally apply for microcredit for consumption concerns, for payments of other debts and to expand their current business. Therefore, microcredit remains insufficient to end people’s poverty since it do not provide a transformative and structural power to the poor.