Faith-based welfare provision to women in Konya

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014




The main objective of this study is to examine faith-based welfare provision in Konya from a gender perspective. FBOs’ assumptions and ideology about the nature of women’s poverty and the mechanisms FBOs use to alleviate women’s poverty is discussed. Women, and especially single women, take priority in receiving assistance from FBOs in Konya. The reasons for giving priority to women are based on patriarchal and religious reasoning. Women are prioritised for their caretaker roles as well as their symbolic status in Islam as the representatives of community order. All assistance-seeking women are not able to benefit from FBO assistance. The ones who comply with the standards set by FBOs can receive assistance, but other groups are left outside of their support mechanisms. These criteria are shaped by patriarchal assumptions and expectations. FBO welfare provision to women plays an important role in the survival of poor women. However, these organisations’ poverty alleviation strategies do not contribute effectively to the long term betterment of poor women’s material conditions. FBO assistance cannot be regarded as having a long-term transformative capacity because it fails to address women’s real socio-economic disadvantages. Moreover, FBOs as gendered institutions can cause problems relating to their surveillance of and the restrictions they place on women.