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...
Dec 23, 2013

Report from Ghana - Women's Collective Action

Ghanaian Women
Ghanaian Women's Cooperative - DAA

Having travelled across the globe, it’s not surprising to see women in the fields, behind plows, and selling their harvest in the market. In fact, most of the world’s smallholder farmers are women. 

I live in Washington, D.C. now, but I can relate to some of these women’s experiences. I come from a long line of farmers on both sides of my family. Our farms were in Virginia, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and I witnessed first hand the long days and the rush to use every bit of daylight to plow, plant, or harvest. 

Farmers the world over—from Virginia to Ghana—deal with factors that can make or break their success, no matter how hard they’ve worked, including weather, soil, seeds, fertilizer, machinery and market access and competition. 

And while weather is a constant for men and women on the farm, that’s just about where most equality stops.

I just returned from meeting with women farmers throughout Ghana. As with many women in developing countries, they face greater challenges including: lack of access to markets, limited land plots of 1-3 acres (usually the least fertile), and desperate need of tractors and other equipment, which are owned and used almost solely by men. 

But women’s collectives and networks are proving to be one of the strongest tools for helping women smallholder farmers voice their concerns and change the way they farm and access markets. These collectives are strong and strategic, and in many cases shifting entire policies.

Take the Development Action Association (DAA) in Ghana, for example.

DAA represents over 1,500 farmers who affect thousands more. When DAA is able to shift policy, they impact thousands of farmers in Ghana. Earlier this month, I visited Lydia Sasu and some of the women of DAA, the collective Lydia started nearly 17 years ago and that has partnered with Women Thrive since 2010. 

The collective is now in 46 rural communities throughout the southern part of the country. DAA works to create networks of women farmers – whether they operate vegetable farms or even fisheries. They understand the power of collective voice and collective action. 

Through working together and with some advocacy training from Women Thrive, the members of DAA have been able to provide training to each other, build schools for their local communities, and advocate for better policies from the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The simple truth is this: we're stronger when we work together. And that's a lesson that's just as true for women plowing small fields in Ghana as it is for men harvesting corn in Virginia.

That's why Women Thrive strives day-in and day-out to help women smallholder farmers get the skills and resources they need to make their voices heard and feed their families. Your support helps us do that. Thank you for your believing in our work. We look forward to sharing more updates on what you’ve helped achieve for women and girls globally in 2014.


Warmest regards,


Lauren Supina
Vice President of Organizational Advancement


Lauren Supina is a Vice President at Women Thrive Worldwide, a 15-year-old NGO dedicated to bringing the voices of women in developing countries directly to decision-makers in Washington and at the global level. Lauren has travelled to more than 20 countries visiting local women, and has represented the United States at international conferences and on international delegations. Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenSupina.


Want to learn more? Visit us online at www.womenthrive.org.

Dec 11, 2013

Rallying to end gender-based violence!

Women Thrive Rally 11/21/13
Women Thrive Rally 11/21/13

On November 20-21 2013, Women Thrive sent a strong message to end violence against women globally. Women Thrive flew in our Haitian partner, Executive Director of Fondasyon Limyè Lavi, Guerda Lexima-Constant so that she could share her story at the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights” hearing on gender-based violence. This was the highest-level discussion on gender-based violence in the past 3 years, and Women Thrive played a major role in making sure that a grassroots voice was heard. Guerda discussed the importance of working with local community organizations to achieve mission goals such as protection from violence and gender equality.

After the hearing, Guerda was able to speak in more detail with members of Congress, including Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jim McGovern (D-MA) Nita Lowey (D-NY), Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Yvette Clark (D-NY) .

You can view the Tom Lantos Commission hearing HERE 

And we didn’t stop there. The day after the hearing, Women Thrive organized our first-ever rally to end violence against women. The rally was held outside of the Capitol, as the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) act was reintroduced to Congress on that same day. The rally featured Guerda, MTV’s Girl Code comedian Tanisha Long and Indian human rights activist Ravi Kant. All are strong advocates for ending violence against women.

The rally was a success, bringing out coalition members, congressional staffers and folks passing by. Thank you to all who attended and showed their support for ending violence against women and girls globally.

To learn more about our efforts to end violence against women and the I-VAWA act, click HERE to read an informational summary written by Policy staff member, Christina Hart.

Join us in promoting awareness about this dire issue that affects women all over the world. We must never stop demanding a world where women live free of violence. Now is the time to let our voices be heard, loud and clear!

Oct 24, 2013

Report from the World Food Prize

Ritu Sharma with Tony Blair and Howard Buffett
Ritu Sharma with Tony Blair and Howard Buffett

Last week, Women Thrive's President Ritu Sharma spoke on a panel at the World Food Prize with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett on governments and their roles in solving global hunger and poverty.

In this discussion, Ritu emphasized the important role that women have to play in addressing world hunger and gave three recommendations on how to engage small scale women farmers on this issue:

  1. Avoid creating new dependencies. Food policy cannot and must not foist production techniques on local farmers that will only be sustainable with additional, outside support.
  2. Ensure women have the information they need. Women farmers deserve full information about possible food production methods — whether those methods are natural or high-tech — so they can decide what is best for their land and families.
  3. Empower women. Women farmers must not only be informed, but they must also be empowered to decide on food production techniques. Social norms on gender roles, limits on land ownership by women, a lack of access to formal markets, and other structural barriers to equality can limit women’s success in addressing local food crises.

We could not have done this without supporters like you. Your contributions help keep us accountable to the women and girls living in poverty.

Please learn more about how we’re helping women feed the world at:

EX-UK leader: Governments key in hunger fight

Another View: Female farmers need to have their voices heard, too

Thanks again for your support,

Mei Powers


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