Teach a Woman to Fish

by Conor Friedersdorf

Ann Friedman is against saving the world's women:

When I tweeted last week that the "we Westerners must save women!" phrasing rubbed me the wrong way, a few folks piped up to offer alternatives. Emily Douglas suggested, "How about getting out of the way so women can save the world?" I like that perspective much better.

The international women's rights groups that have worked on these issues for years (WEDO, MADRE, AWID, etc.) are absent from the article. And, consequently, so is their framing that in order to build a better world, women need to be empowered to be an active part in making that change. The U.S. swooping in to "save" them will not actually fix things in a sustainable way. International women's rights groups, most of whom are working in collaboration with women on the ground, emphasize the importance of supporting grassroots movements and change that is driven by women rather than imposed on them.

It's a good insight -- one that is usefully applied to efforts at helping disadvantaged people generally.