About us

Since 1981, AIDOS works for the rights, dignity and freedom of choice of women and girls throughout the world. A gender perspective for sustainable development.


Italian Association for Women in Development

AIDOS begins its journey in 1981, with the establishment of the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS) as a women’s association and non-governmental development organisation. AIDOS was recognised in 1992 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as eligible to manage public funds for the implementation of international development projects.

Since its establishment, AIDOS has worked in developing countries, Italy and internationally to build, promote and defend the rights, dignity and freedom of choice of women and girls.

AIDOS works in partnership with local organisations and institutions to provide tools to women and their organisations, particularly in those areas where the experience of the Italian feminist movement has yielded significant results. These areas are: a) women’s rights, as an integral and necessary part of the development process; b) sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); c) economic empowerment of women; d) the education of girls.

AIDOS’ approach is based on a continuous and equal dialogue with women’s and non-governmental organisations worldwide, and with associations and people engaged with human rights, women’s and LGBTQI rights.

AIDOS has a special consultative status the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), and is implementing partner in Italy of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

How we work

AIDOS’ approach means first of all the strengthening of the technical, managerial and organisational skills and capacities of partner organisations and individuals in all projects.

All resources are used to support local project partners through specific training, technical assistance, and monitoring and evaluation visits based on needs identified during the design and the implementation of the activities.

For this reason, AIDOS’ approach ensures project sustainability and continuation after donors’ phase-out and project formal completion.

AIDOS can rely on a pool of experienced and strongly motivated international consultants to provide technical assistance and monitoring, including gynaecologists, psychologists, economists, communication and advocacy experts, who make their skills and experience available in support of women and the most marginalised communities.

AIDOS also recognises the crucial importance of consultancies and trainings on management skills, as well as financial monitoring, managed directly by AIDOS administrative team.

Our mission

AIDOS teams up with partner organisations in different countries to jointly build projects and develop shared strategies to address the specific needs of women and girls. AIDOS is also part of many national and international networks of organisations.

All our activities aim at creating structural conditions that nurture a sustainable development. Our campaigns raise awareness on women’s rights and promote the empowerment of women and of their communities.

However, solving a specific problem in a given community is not enough. That is why AIDOS is committed to positively influence government policies to improve the living conditions of all women, and the population of a concerned country. For this reason, all AIDOS projects also include information and advocacy activities.


Members are at the very core of AIDOS. The essential requirement to be a member is to share our mission for professional, social, political or personal reasons. To become a member, simply send a written request to the Board of Directors, indicating your name, contact details and reasons with a brief note on your profession and interests. The annual membership fee is € 50.

Board of Directors

Every three years the Annual Members’ Assembly appoints the Board of Directors, which is formed by the President, the Vice-President, and a number of counsellors. The current Board of Directors members are:

Maria GraziaPanunzi, Historian

Paola Cirillo, Oriental studies expert

Cristina Angelini, Psychologist
Elena Bonometti, Development expert
Clara Caldera, Business economist
Antonietta Cilumbriello, Gynaecologist
Maria Maddalena Delinna, Administrator
Maria Enrichetta Drago, Lawyer
Valentina Sommacal, Female entrepreneurship expert

Gemma Ponti


AIDOS: our team

Staff: AIDOS projects and campaigns are possible thanks to the commitment of those who ensure the continuity and the efficiency of the work of the association.

And, of course, our field staff and expert consultants who collaborate from many different places!

Current AIDOS partners:

  • AKIDWA, Ireland
  • AMWIK, Association of Media Women in Kenya, Kenya
  • AMSOPT, Association Malienne pour l’Orientation et le Suivi des PratiquesTraditionnelles, Mali
  • ARCS, Arci Culture Solidali, Italy
  • APF, AssociaçaoparaPlaneamento Familiar, Portugal
  • CISV, Italy
  • Coventry University, United Kingdom
  • CRWI, Centre for Research on Women’s Issues Diotima, Greece
  • End FGM European Network, Belgium
  • Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
  • EquiPop, Equilibres& Populations, France
  • Excision, parlons-en!, France
  • FNGN, FédérationNationale des GroupementsNaam, Burkina Faso
  • FORWARD, United Kingdom
  • FSAN, Federatie van somalo Associates Nederland, Netherlands
  • GAMS Belgique, Groupe femmes pour l’Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles, Belgium
  • GVC,Gruppo di VolontariatoCivile, Italy
  • Keoogo, Burkina Faso
  • INTACT, Belgium
  • LVIA, Italy
  • Medicos del Mundo, Spain
  • MIGS, Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, Cyprus
  • MPDL – Movimientopor la paz, Spain
  • Mwangaza Action, Burkina Faso
  • NHF, Noor al Hussein Foundation, Jordan
  • Network Italiano Salute Globale
  • PARC, Agricultural Development Association, Palestine
  • Phect-Nepal, Public Health Concern Trust, Nepal
  • Plan International, Mali
  • RC, Ricerca e Cooperazione, Italy
  • StiftungHilfemit Plan, Germany
  • Tiljala Shed, Tiljala Society for Human & Educational Development, India
  • TOSTAN, Senegal
  • UMWA, Uganda Media Women’s Association, UgandaWISE, Women In Self Employment, Ethiopia
  • WRF, Women’s Rights Foundation, Malta


AIDOS also collaborates with:

  • FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • IFAD, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • ILO, International Labour Organization
  • UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund
  • UNICEF, United Nations Children Fund
  • UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • UN Women, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • UNHCR Italia, High Commissioner for RefugeesItaly


AIDOS is member of the following networks

  • AOI, Associazionedelleorganizzazioniitaliane di cooperazione e solidarietàinternazionale
  • ASVIS, Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development
  • CONCORD Italia, European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development
  • EndFGMEuropean Network
  • INSPIRE European Partnership for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • GCAP Italia, CoalizioneItalianacontro la Povertà
  • Girls Not Brides
  • In Difesa Di – per idiritti umani e chi li difende
  • ISRRC, International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition
  • Global Health Italian Network
  • PIDIDA, Coordinamento per idirittidell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza


AIDOS has previously worked with: 

AAI Italia, Milan, Italy; Action Aid International, London, United Kingdom;  ADUSU, Associazionedirittiumanisviluppoumano, Padua, Italy; AID, Association for Integrated Development, Bosaso, Somalia; ALAPLAF, AsociaciónLarense de Planificación Familiar, Barquisimeto, Lara State, Venezuela; ASTRA, Federation for Women and Family Planning, Warsaw, Poland; AVESA, AsociaciónVenezolanaparaunaEducación Sexual Alternativa, Venezuela; BAFROW, Foundation for Research on Women’s Health, Productivity and Environment, Banjul, Gambia;BBSAWS, BabikerBadri Scientific Association for Women Studies, Omdurman, Sudan; BRAC, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, Dacca, Bangladesh; CCMC, Communication Consortium Media Centre, Washington, USA; CEM, Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, Buenos Aires, Argentina; CESTAS, Centro di Educazione Sanitaria e Tecnologie Appropriate Sanitarie, Bologna, Italy; CI-AF Benin, Comité Inter-Africain Benin, Portonovo, Benin; CFTA, Culture and Free Thought Association, Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip; CGFED, Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development, Hanoi, Vietnam; CNLPE, Centre National de Lutte à la Pratique de l’Excision, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; CPTAFE, Cellule de coordination sur les PratiquesTraditionnellesaffectant la santé des Femmes et des Enfants, Conakry, Guinea Conakry; CRR, Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA; Culture Aperte, Associazione di promozionesociale, Trieste, Italy; Data Coop, Rome, Italy; DENA, Association of Iranian painters, Teheran, Iran; DSW, Deutsche StiftungWeltbevölkerung, Hannover, Germany; ECWR, Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights, Cairo, Egypt; EMWA, Ethiopia Media Women Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; ESPHP, Egyptian Society for the Prevention of Harmful Practices, Cairo, Egypt; Focus Foundation, Moscow, Russia; FPASAL, The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka; GAMCOTRAP, Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices, Banjul, Gambia; HAWCA, Humanitarian  Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan, Quetta, Pakistan; IAC, Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; ICRH, International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent, Belgium; IRC, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy; IWSAW, Institute of Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Beirut, Lebanon; Interact Worldwide, London, United Kingdom; Lettera22, Associazioneindipendente di giornalisti, Rome, Italy; MSI, Marie Stopes International, London, United Kingdom; National Centre for Social Research, Cairo, Egypt; NCCM, National Commission on Childhood and Motherhood, Cairo, Egypt; NCTPE, National Committee on Traditional Practices, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; NPWJ, Non c’è pace senzagiustizia, Rome, Italy; PAI, Population Action International, Washington, USA; Population Council, New York, USA; RAINBO, Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women, New York, USA; RCS, Red Crescent Society, Gaza, Gaza Strip; RHAC, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; SFPA, Syrian Family Planning Association, Damascus, Syria; ShirkatGah Women’s Resource Centre, Lahore, Pakistan; SNCTP, Sudanese National Committee on Traditional Practices, Khartoum, Sudan; SWDO, Somali Women Democratic Organisation, Mogadishu, Somalia; TAMWA, Tanzania Media Women’s Association, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; TAWLA, Tanzania Women Lawyers Association, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; TGNP, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; TGT Tanzania Gatsby Trust; VdF, Voix de Femmes, ­Ouagadougou, ­ Burkina Faso; ZhIF, ZhenskiInnovatsionnyi Found “Vostok-Zapad”, Moscow, Russia; Women’s Affairs, Training and Research Centre, Gaza City, Gaza Strip; Women’s Studies Centre, Amman, Giordania;WOREC, Women’s Rehabilitation Centre, Lalitpur, Nepal; WPF, World Population Foundation, Amsterdam, Netherlands.