New Report from Women Thrive Worldwide, “What Women Want”: A Survey of Southern Women’s Perceptions of Aid, Agriculture, and Trade

“What Women Want”: A Survey of Southern Women’s Perceptions of Aid, Agriculture,
and Trade

To read the full report summary and recommendations see the attached PDF document.

For more information on Women Thrive Worldwide, see

Background and Context

Women Thrive Worldwide (Women Thrive) advocates for U.S. foreign policy that invests in and fosters economic opportunity for women living in poverty. Women Thrive reaches out to women in the Global South through civil society organizations (CSOs) and brings their voices to U.S. policymakers in order to bridge the gap between women’s realities and U.S. policies. Women Thrive conducted a survey to assess women’s opinions on U.S. foreign assistance and the role of women in agriculture and trade. The survey gathered the opinions of 108 women representatives of civil society organizations from nine different countries, and analyzed their responses. The purpose of this summary is to include the opinions and perspectives of southern women in the debate about how to make U.S. international development and trade
policy more effective.

CSOs Recommendations:
 Greater dialogue between funders and CSOs
 Simplification of complicated and bureaucratic donor applications
 Greater access to economic opportunity
 Capacity development focused on inclusion, research, advocacy, and information

• Make a clear distinction between poverty focused assistance and political assistance. For
women on the ground, the line is blurred, and even those being helped by poverty-focused programs may feel like subjects of U.S. foreign policy objectives.
• Have a clear strategy based on a long-term commitment to poverty-reduction. Shifting U.S. priorities to fit the “issue of the day” undermines both program effectiveness and the perception that the U.S. is committed to helping local communities.
• Foster country ownership by engaging local civil society. Much of the discussion around country ownership has centered on the role of developing country governments, but local civil society is equally important. U.S. assistance should focus on building the capacity of local CSOs and engage more directly with them in order to create sustainable solutions to
• Focus on evidence-based approaches that work. Development programs designed around ideology or political considerations, rather than the needs of specific communities, are not viewed as effective or genuine.
• Integrate gender into U.S. foreign assistance so that both women’s and men’s needs and roles are taken into account. This will ensure that both women and men contribute to the development of their communities, which will make aid more effective and sustainable.
• Invest in capacity building. This requires a focus on two main categories of capacity building both civil society organizations and women more generally.

To read the full report summary and recommendations see the attached PDF document.

For more information on Women Thrive Worldwide, see

Tags: Agriculture, Report, Research, Southern Women's Perception of Aid, Trade, US Foreign Policy, Women Thrive Worldwide

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