Women Thrive Worldwide

In 1998, a small group of visionary women created Women Thrive Worldwide (Women Thrive) to represent the voices of women and girls living in poverty to policymakers in Washington, D.C. Today, Women Thrive brings together a diverse coalition of more than 50 organizations and 45,000 individual supporters. We are united in the belief that women are the key to ending global poverty. Women Thrive's mission is to empower women in developing countries to craft their own solutions to escape poverty and violence. WHY WOMEN: Worldwide, women are at the greatest risk of being poor. Research and experience have also shown that women in poor countries are more likely to use their income for food, health...
Jun 15, 2012

A call for more good men

Father’s Day is June 17, and we are looking for more good men to join the movement in empowering women worldwide. 

Please listen to this two-minute interview with Compaore Koudougou, a husband, farmer, and father of 13 in Burkina Faso: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekzmwzwTNds&list=PL0CE3E8821867E235&index=7&feature=plpp_video. Compaore shares how empowering women (e.g. by providing them with training and greater access to resources) can help men and women better provide for their families and increase crop production to help feed the world.

Getting “buy-in” from men like Compaore is important to ensure that the entire community has a stake in successful outcomes for programs directed at women. This was also revealed in our “Time to Listen Report,” which surveyed and interviewed over 100 women’s organizations from 13 countries.

Too often women's empowerment, women's economic opportunity, and women's rights are seen as a women's issue. As a women's organization, Women Thrive is unique in that we advocate for change at the U.S. and global levels so that women and men can share equally in the enjoyment of opportunities, economic prosperity, voice, and freedom from fear and violence. And we recognize that to achieve sustainable change, we need to engage women and men.

For Father's day, will you help us engage more good men? You can do so by:

- Sharing our project page via email, Facebook, or Twitter and/or

- Making a donation in honor of a special man that has been a warrior for women here. GlobalGiving will send a tribute card via mail or email. 

Jun 11, 2012

Your support grounds our work in the lives of women

Ritu and women farmers in Burkina Faso
Ritu and women farmers in Burkina Faso

At Women Thrive Worldwide, we believe by partnering with and championing local women leaders, we are able to achieve transformational and sustainable change for women and girls around the world that lasts long after our partnerships end. This is why we partnered with organizations like the Development Action Association (DAA) in Ghana and Coalition Burkinabe des Droits des Femmes (CBDF) in Burkina Faso.

 

Through these partnerships, Women Thrive provided intensive advocacy training, just-in-time information on relevant changes in D.C., and strategic guidance to help our local partners refine their advocacy messages, identify targets, and strategize to make appropriate “asks” of policymakers.  We also worked with CBDF and DAA to raise the voices of African rural women to key platforms and audiences, including Members of Congress, the Millennium Challenge Account coordinating body in Burkina Faso (MCA-BF), Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

 

As a result, these local organizations, CBDF and DAA, have demonstrated increased awareness of, influence over, and collaboration with U.S government-funded programs and their countries’ policy processes. Additionally, CBDF and DAA have established themselves as local experts on gender, and women are increasingly represented in important programming decisions that will impact their lives.

 

Madame Maryam Sirima, coordinator of CBDF, agrees: “This partnership between CBDF and Women Thrive Worldwide will be very useful to my country and the women of Burkina Faso. This is something that is going to help build our advocacy activities and help us promote our fight on gender issues as far as the Compact [agreement with Millennium Challenge Corpoation designating $480.9 million for reducing poverty and spurring economic growth] is concerned. The Compact should not exclude women, so this will help CBDF to get stronger so that we can help get women out of poverty.

 

A recent external evaluation of Women Thrive’s partnerships with CBDF and DAA confirmed the importance and impact of our work.  The report found that with the help of Women Thrive, CBDF and DAA have achieved “significant success in influencing policy change among the institutions, national and U.S., that were the object of their advocacy efforts” and that these changes “meant greater opportunities for women.”

Your contribution has been critical in supporting Women Thrive’s global partnerships. Help us continue to ground our work in the realities of women living in poverty, to partner with locally based organizations, and to create powerful coalitions that advance the interests of the women and girls we serve by: 

  • Sharing our work with your friends and family.
  • GIVING ON BONUS DAY JUNE 13, 2012, when your donation will be matched by 40% by GlobalGiving.

 

Click the link for a full video of the 2010 interview with Madame Sirima:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c9WeI0Gw4s&feature=relmfu

Members of DAA during a group meeting
Members of DAA during a group meeting
Ritu working with women farmers in Burkina Faso
Ritu working with women farmers in Burkina Faso
Apr 18, 2012

Worth their weight in...

DAA organized a stakeholder meeting
DAA organized a stakeholder meeting

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to spend a month working in Mali, West Africa as an evaluation intern. During my four short weeks in the Ouelessebougou (pronounced Way-less-a-boo-goo) region, I worked in seven different villages interviewing and holding focus group discussions with village chiefs and their elders, local midwives, health agents, teachers, and (my favorite) each village’s women’s association.  

In my “causeries avec les femmes” (French for “chats with the women”), I asked women to share with me what their daily lives were like, what they felt their village’s strengths were, and where they felt they needed to improve as a community.

These devoted mothers often shared with me the struggles they faced everyday in feeding their families.  The women complained that a contributing factor to their poverty was that they were often cheated when they went to sell their vegetables and crops to larger-scale purchasers.  They felt that buyers would often take advantage of them because they lacked skills in basic math and numeracy. Additionally, the more powerful buyers would often improvise measuring methods, and ultimately give the women a lot less money than they deserved.

Recognizing this problem, our local partner in Ghana, the Development Action Association (DAA) initiated serious conversations about promoting standard weights and measurement in the sale of agricultural produce and organized a stakeholders workshop in Accra. The event was so successful it was featured in three different local newspapers below.

But how does adopting standard weights and measurements help women feed the world? Previously women farmers used things like plastic bags and used bottles to sell their goods, hoping to get a fair rate, or had to rely on methods given by unscrupulous large-scale purchasers that often paid far less than what the women deserved (like the women I spoke with in Mali). Adoption of standard measurements enable women to accurately weigh and package their products to not only get a fair rate, but also start selling their products professionally outside of their local market—helping to improve their income and their ability to feed their families. And your support helped provide the advocacy and leadership training that empowered DAA to push for the new policy.


Thank you for your support. You are making a huge difference in the lives of women and worldwide, and I hope you will share what we have been able to achieve together. 


One way you can spread the word is by giving a gift that helps women feed the world. Starting today, we will be offering those contributing $50 or more a special gift of hand woven scarves produced by The Association of San Jose Craftswomen for Maya Botanika, a women artisan’s fair-trade collective in Guatemala. These scarves make the perfect gift for say Mother's Day because not only will your recipient receive a lovely fair-trade scarf and card, but also will know that your gift has empowered millions of other mothers worldwide in her name. Please visit our project page for more details.

Sincerely,

Rachel Morrison

Intern, Women Thrive Worldwide

Women farmers participating in meeting
Women farmers participating in meeting

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