Development Agencies Must Include Women When Defining Health, Economic Priorities

The Guardian: Why the development community needs to hear women’s voices
Joanna Moorhead, writer at the Guardian

“The reality of women’s lives has tended to be ignored or misunderstood by aid agencies. Women need to be made integral to economic progress in developing countries and agencies need to stop seeing them as an ‘add-on’ and making assumptions about their needs. This was the message at the heart of a Guardian seminar, sponsored by Gain (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), and attended by an audience of global development and NGO professionals from organizations including Oxfam, Christian Aid, the Overseas Development Institute, and Womankind. The seminar, held at the University Women’s Club in central London, took as its title the question: Are development agencies failing women? The short answer, according to most of the speakers, was yes. … But underpinning the whole discussion was the golden rule that NGOs had to think about the daily reality of women’s lives, rather than the needs of the development workers…” Moorhead summarizes the conversation (7/1).

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