By Maureen Kline | March 8, 2019 | Inc.
International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on how far we have come toward equal opportunity for women, and how far we still have to go. Equal opportunity is critically important for women themselves – reason enough to aspire to it – but it is also important for our economic system, our environment, and for peace.
Bringing women around the globe out of poverty and into the economic system as earners means we bring them in as consumers too, expanding overall well-being. Muhammad Yunus made this clear when his Grameen Bank, focusing on micro-lending to women in Bangladesh, created a virtuous cycle, with the diligence of the female borrowers lifting their families’ earnings and improving economic conditions all around them. Grameen’s work was rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize; the Nobel Committee made a connection between bringing people out of poverty and peace. Peace doesn’t come solely from the absence of poverty, but communities are more likely to live in peace when basic needs are met.
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