The debate on the recent “Oxfam sex scandal” has focused almost exclusively on the offending aid workers and aid organisations while ignoring the voices of the vulnerable young women exploited, writes Giulia Piccolino, a lecturer in politics and international relations at Loughborough University, UK.
More than 1,100 women living and working within the international aid sector in 81 countries have signed an open letter demanding that women be “taken seriously by men and decision makers in humanitarian and development organizations”.
The Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal signals the arrival of the moment for an honest public conversation about charities’ role in society, the white saviour mentality, gender relations, charity accountability, and the impact of western aid and power in developing countries.
Like political campaign contributions, today’s self-interested foreign aid often supports badly-designed development projects, imposes foreign investor-friendly policies on recipient countries, facilitates access to intended beneficiaries’ resources, helps aid-giving countries to look good on the world stage, all the while making unquestioning taxpayers in aid giving countries feel good about their supposed generosity.
Alternatives, a small Montreal-based foreign aid charity, may lose its charitable status following a CRA audit and notice of revocation, CBC News reports