There are two parts to this question:
1. Can an organization run only by women be named Women Aid Organization, or should it be called Women's Aid Organization? Please also explain why.


2. If using the word 'women' or "women's" is confusing in this case [as it could give the impression that the organization works for women only], is it preferable, and correct, to replace it with a word such as 'Female Aid ...' or 'All-Women Aid ...' for clarity? If none of the above is right, could you please suggest a word that would work best and give the most clarity?

Thank you.

women female all-women women-s asked Jul 29 '13 at 20:25 Nuria New member

Thank you for the responses so far.Having thought about it a little more, I've realised that what the name is trying to express in this case is the gender of 'Aid'.Just as in French nouns have a gender, is there a way in English to express the feminine nature of this aid, ie that it is legal aid being provided by women to women, men and adolescents.I suppose my question is of a more general nature: how can the feminine gender of a noun like 'aid' best be expressed here? My gut feeling is that using the form 'Women' fails to say what it is trying to say.Any further thoughts would be much appreciated.

NuriaJul 30 '13 at 09:53

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2 answers


Any form of woman or female does lead one to infer that the organization only aids women. Adding the apostrophe shows that the aid organization belongs to women, but it still leaves room for doubt about who it helps. If you want to indicate that it is run by women, I would add some information about who is being helped or in what way. Most organizations have some sort of focus and "aid" by itself is very vague. "Organization" is also a word that can be assumed rather than used. You could also include something descriptive about the women. Are they all for the same town or region? Something like these I have made up .... New York Women Fighting Against Hunger .... Anytown Women's Science Scholarship Fund ....

link comment answered Jul 29 '13 at 22:19 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

In this case I would specifically go with Women's Aid Organization. Note, however, that in naming an organization, marketing rather than grammar usually determines your exact wording.


Also, I feel all of your options speak more of the targeted aid group (as in, an organization for providing aid TO women) rather than saying anything about the management. If you really want to stress that, a better choice may be something like "Women Providing Aid".

link comment answered Jul 29 '13 at 22:21 Topknot New member

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