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.
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.
Women’s NGOs play crucial roles in development projects in numerous developing countries. A study conducted by Dr. Bipasha Baruah, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues, at Western University, and Dr. Kate Grantham, Research Associate, International Development, at McGill University, found that women NGOs in India and Tanzania “were easily marginalized and trivialized” once the projects they would have initiated got off the ground.
According to The Guardian (UK), aid from western countries mask the $60 billion looting of Africa by foreign multinational companies.