The past few months have been huge for women’s and global poverty issues—two areas that impact on the work that World Neighbors does around the world. In January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made bold statements at her confirmation hearing calling on the U.S. government to re-think the way it deals with the developing world by investing in women’s opportunities and listening to local voices in poor countries.
The Problem: Women and Families Are Suffering
U.S. foreign assistance has the potential to be a major force for good – in fact, when done right it has eradicated entire diseases and sent countless girls to school. However, our foreign assistance system is designed in a way that prevents us from reaching these achievable goals. It doesn’t focus on reducing poverty as much as it does diplomacy and defense. It is outdated (it hasn’t been updated in over 40 years!), inefficient and often does not reach the women and families who need it most. The result? Our money is not being used efficiently and we are missing out on the biggest opportunity we have to improve the world and restore America’s image in it.
The Solution: Reforming Foreign Assistance
In order to be effective, our foreign assistance needs to be less bureaucratic. It needs to invest in economic opportunity for women, who are our greatest chance at lifting entire communities – and economies – out of poverty. Finally, it needs to be “bottom-up,” listening to the voices of the local communities it is meant to help.
What You Can Do Now!
Add your voice to the growing number of Americans who want to see America “lead once more”: Sign the Petition Asking the President and Congress to Reform Foreign Assistance! (This link will take you to the Women Thrive Worldwide Web site, a coalition that World Neighbors and WOW! are a part of.)
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