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International Aid Groups Should Focus On Women’s Political, Not Economic, Empowerment, Report Says

Washington Post: Women in the developing world don’t need only cows and sewing machines. But that’s what aid groups keep offering.
“…[M]any international aid groups that set out to empower women define their goal so narrowly that their mission is, essentially, useless. As a new report by [Kate Cronin-Furman, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School,] and two other academics says, the whole idea of ‘women’s empowerment’ is broken. The problem, the report says, is that many groups see empowerment as something pretty narrow: providing women with economic livelihoods. To aid organizations, that means a woman is empowered once she’s given a chicken or cow or sewing machine, even though there’s no evidence that this leads to long-term economic gains…” (Erickson, 10/25).

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