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Friday, June 27, 2008 • 7:24 am
What do you think?
“The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.”
Filed under: health
is that really a complete sentence? it reads weird.
Perhaps a rather simplistic presentation, one that some viewers might dismiss for not discussing a wide array of other factors. My first reaction was, “Yeah right.” If I hadn’t already done some research on it, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
But it’s actually true. The correlation between opportunities for women and economic stability is huge. One stat from the Girl Effect website: Women invest 90% of their income into their families, as opposed to 30-40% for men.
I stumbled upon another organization earlier this morning actually, called Kiva (www.kiva.org). They facilitate microlending opportunities in developing nations. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of individuals seeking loans were women.
That’s a pretty effective video. Davo is right to say it’s no surprise. One of the largest case studies of this of course is Muhammad Yunus’ work in Bangladesh with the Grameen Bank. I got to hear him speak the UW several years ago and the impact on Bangladesh through women becoming business and landowners was pretty striking. One interesting note from here: http://www.grameen-info.org/dialogue/dialogue37/action.html
is that the loan repayment rate for women given micro-loans was 99.4% in this study. Pretty impressive.
@Eugene: are you thinking about micro-credit as part of your new org?
Wow – moving video.
I did a research project in university studying the effects of literacy and education among women on their villages/society. Mostly in Northern Africa and having a lot to do with FGM (female circumcision). It’s amazing what a seemingly small difference to a handful of girls can do to a whole village, region.
I have heard of Kiva, but not Girl Effect.
@tyler: not sure. i was just c/p a short description on youtube.
@davo: kiva is fairly well known now. they even made it on oprah and supposedly the servers got knocked out with the response. i very much enjoy what they’re doing because they’re somehow able to connect the giver to the recipient, empower the individual, and lastly, you’re not really GIVING money but rather, LENDING, money and on their website, they reportedly have an a fairly incredible “success” rate in terms of money being returned.
@beattieblog: not really. its something that we’ll do but probably can’t afford to build the infrastructure do that. as you can imagine, d. richards is a big fan of microlending and sees that as one of the proven ways to systemically change the environment for global poverty. we might engage in microlending as a participant. what we’re envisioning really is granting funds to small NGOs that have a proven or growing effect on poverty in their local context. small NGOs that most people have not even heard of. that’s not necessarily new but how we hope to raise funds is new in the sense that we’re trying to use this thing call the global web 2.0 community. i’ll send you our vision letter and you can mail us a check for a million.
I confess to not being as well educated on this topic as those of you who have responded so far, but from my time in Africa, the thing that touched me and broke my heart was talking to the mothers that we met. They desperately wanted to see their children be whole and healthy. Ulitimately, to do this, their community must be healthly and stable. While there can be no doubt that men want this for their children, speaking as a mother, it is the the very core of of most mothers’ hearts. We are all fallen, men and women alike, but I believe that empowering women with the tools and support they need will make a world of difference (I know it’s cliche, but it’s true).
Very interesting topic.
I don’t have a vast knowledge on how the credit scheme works, but I think it would surely help women get more involved on politics.
In Brazil, there is a program for microbusiness funding, but, as far as I know, most investors are men. I suppose it would encourage more women to get involved if a specific program were developed for them… but that’s the kind of discussion that is not spread, focused or even wanted in society.
Pardon my poor English. 8- |
I think the quote is the definition of “the girl effect”, not intended to be a sentence.
I.e., The girl effect: (n) The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.
the “educate the girls” campaign that our denomination (Evangelical Covenant) supports for girls in Congo is a similar attempt to address this very important injustice. thank you for sharing this video Eugene…i continue to read your blog and am excited to hear more about the development of your organization…
altough its a c/p from youtube, but i think its true an really great statement. just imagine there’s no girl, it would be not complete society. girl makes difference 🙂
just check my blog and see the difference.
I think there’s a direct corrolation between how people are treated (i.e. women in this case) and how healthy an environment is.
Perhaps…you see some revolutionizing historical incidents have women’s names wirtten in golden below…for eg:Cleopatra,Mother Teresa,Marie Curie,Florence Nightingale,George Eliot,Princess Diana,Indira Gandhi,Sirimavo Bandarinayike,Hillary Clinton,Condolezza Rice,Aung San Suu Kyi…to name a few.
You may examine history for solid proofs in support of your claims,if you wish.
I don’t understand… Wouldn’t doing this for both boys and girls in developing countries have the same (if not greater) effect? Why can’t we do it for all children, regardless of gender? I feel like there are more problems than solutions in this video…
You said, “Wouldn’t doing this for both boys and girls in developing countries have the same (if not greater) effect?” This is a great question, and I’m glad you brought it up. The question to assume that women have equal opportunities when it comes to education and economics in developing countries. However, this simply is not the case. Educational and economic opportunities for men far outweigh opportunities for women in many developing nations. So focusing on empowering women (as this organization promotes) would, at best, raise opportunities for women to the same level of men.
The reality is that harmful societal structures in a lot of countries (including the US) perpetuate gender inequality. This inequality causes instability. Empowering women wouldn’t put them above men (which assumes that women are already on equal grounds with men), rather it would raise women to the same level as men.
There are volumes of statistics showing a direct correlation between investing in/empowering women and increasing economic stability. If you’re interested in learning more, I know that http://www.care.org and http://www.oxfam.org have some good resources.
I’m not sure what I think about this, though I don’t doubt its veracity. In the US among Black communities, women actually have far greater educational opportunity than men and it has not led to stability at all. Rather, it has perpetuated a system wherein men can continue to be radically irresponsible and women can continue to shoulder more and more share of the burden.
hmm.. thank you very much. usefull information
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