Concepts, Research, Policy
Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 83: Tackling Poverty: Learning Together to Improve Women’s Rights Through Partnership – The Case of WOMANKIND Worldwide
Tina Wallace and Ceri Hayes ‘An almost universal weakness of NGOs working in development is the “limited capacity” to learn, adapt and continuously improve the quality of what they do’ (Fowler, 1997: 64). There are good reasons for this, including concern about public image, a focus on ‘doing’ rather than reflecting, and the pressure to provide good results in a competitive environment. Yet learning is essential for improving work in addressing the complexities of poverty (Kaplan, 2003). The task is challenging, the contexts varied and the necessary skills diverse, especially when women’s rights and working with women lie at the heart of the work. In this chapter we reflect on the successes, challenges and ways forward for international women’s human rights and development organisation WOMANKIND Worldwide based on their learning over the last two decades. We use recent case studies to illustrate what is possible, and why improving partnerships with women to address their rights lies at the heart of development and addressing women’s poverty. WOMANKIND Worldwide and its founding principles WOMANKIND, established 1989, was founded on clear core principles: a commitment to partnership and building the capacity of women’s organisations, and an emphasis on the implementation of women’s human rights as an end in itself – not only as the means to achieve more efficient development outcomes. WOMANKIND grew out of a belief that women and women’s organisations are central to the economic and social development of their communities and countries, as the key actors in health, family and well-being,...
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