The Role Of Women In Community Development


Take a good look at your community development leadership team.

How many women are a part of that team?

Here’s some food for thought that may cause you to reconsider the role of women in your community.

Women influence a large percentage of the decisions made in families and communities.

They make decisions regarding health care providers, personal banking relationships, dining habits, school choices, personal family time and more.

Women, though, are among the most underutilized resources in community development.

We just don’t have enough women in community leadership roles.

In a presentation to the Community Development Society, Dr. Paulette Meikle made a compelling case for how women can contribute to successful community development efforts.

She noted that:

♦ Men and women interpret and enact plans differently

♦ Not being aware of or focusing on women’s roles in community development can limit positive outcomes

♦ Women should be viewed as agents of change and advocates of success

♦ Women will focus on quality-of-life issues

♦ Women will provide unique responses in the face of social injustice

♦ Communities do better when they tap into women’s unique abilities for building capacity and resiliency

If a community development plan is to be successful, it must be inclusive. Women bring valuable assets to the table that should be utilized.

— Dan Cowling


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