Does International Aid Help Women Peacebuilders in Nepal?
18 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2016 Last revised: 29 Nov 2016
Date Written: January 7, 2016
The inclusion and empowerment of women is a primary target or entrance point into post-conflict societies across the Global South, usually pinned from the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. In Nepal, this has contributed to the belief that a foreign agenda is driving societal change. In this working paper we illustrate the tensions that exist within the operational frameworks of many women’s organizations in Nepal, as directors and staff are torn between public support for the programs that ensure their financial viability, while privately expressing concern that the projects do not take into account local needs, wishes, or realities. Despite the need for resources, some organizations have elected to forego international aid precisely because of the risk that their agendas are subverted by International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) with their own wishes and mandates to ‘help’. We examine how these relationships have influenced public perceptions of the women’s movement in post-conflict Nepal, and how insider/outsider relationships influence the capacity and functionality of women’s organizations in determining domestic agendas for and of social change. Finally, we argue that tensions and complexities between local women’s organizations and international funders have become so negatively perceived in Nepali society that some local organizations choose to forego this massive funding source altogether for fear that it is now counter-productive to positive societal change.
Keywords: Nepal, South Asia, peacebuilding, development aid, foreign aid, UNSCR 1325, women's rights, political participation, empowerment, INGOs, NGOs, women, peace, security
JEL Classification: J16, F63, I25, O15, O19, O2, Q01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation