BBC Examines Global Efforts To Empower Women

The BBC examines the recent efforts by microfinance institutions (MFIs) to “provide a credit lifeline to millions of deprived people in some of the poorest countries of the world,” especially women. The piece describes the work of the non-profit Women’s World Banking (WWB), which, together with several MFIs focusing on women, is holding workshops across South Asia.

“WWB is planning to create innovative savings products and services, apart from small loans, for nearly seven million low-income people in Asia, Latin America and Africa during the next 10 years,” the BBC writes. “The initiative has just received the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which has pledged $8.5m (£5.5m) to the project,” the BBC reports.

“Recognising the importance of empowering women, the U.S. has also begun integrating women’s issues into its Global Health Initiative and Global Food Security Initiative,” the BBC writes, pointing to a recent speech by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, where she emphasized the importance of empowering women as part of a foreign policy strategy.

“It is why we are launching women’s entrepreneurial efforts in Latin America. It is why we are working with religious leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan to increase access to information about family planning and preventive health care,” Clinton said.”We are doing all of these things because we have seen that when women and girls have the tools to stay healthy and the opportunity to contribute to their families’ well-being, they flourish and so do the people around them” (Pathirana, 2/25).

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