A Sociological analysis of microcredit: a poverty alleviation tool for women or not?

Artan, Cemre
Poverty is one of the most important internationally recognized problems. The first Millennium Development Goal declared by the United Nations (UN) is to “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”. Women rank first among groups most affected by poverty. Based on the argument that women compose two-thirds of the poor, the term “feminization of poverty” took its place in the development discourse in the 1970s. There is an inverse relationship between development and women’s poverty, making women’s poverty a crucial agenda item of poverty alleviation strategies. Microcredit systems have spread all over the world beginning in Bangladesh and have now become an important poverty alleviation tool both in developed and developing countries. From the beginning of this millennium, microfinance institutions started to spread in Turkey and Turkish Grameen Microfinance Program (TGMP), a commercial affiliate of Turkish Foundation for Waste Reduction, is the leading organization. It is one of the crucial microfinance institutions in Turkey. Women are the primary target group of microcredit and this makes microcredit today’s most popular poverty alleviation tool. The impact of microcredit on women is examined through interviews with women who registered with the Ankara TGMP v office. In this context, this study investigates microcredit’s effectiveness as a poverty alleviation tool for women in the light of the correlation between development and women’s poverty. Based on the fact that poverty is a multidimensional concept, positive and negative aspects of microcredit are revealed in this research, however, no conclusion is made as to microcredit’s success or failure as an independent poverty alleviation tool. Rather, it is concluded that microcredit should be integrated with other actors and poverty alleviation tools and should be supported with other relevant institutions and policies.
Citation Formats
C. Artan, “A Sociological analysis of microcredit: a poverty alleviation tool for women or not?,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.