At the Young Global Leaders Summit that was held in Bowling Green, Ohio, last month, we were lucky enough to hear about the importance of a sound U.S. global development policy for our nation’s security from Barb Gottlieb of the Women’s Edge Coalition.  Ms. Gottlieb’s remarks focused in particular on the crucial role that women in developing countries play in alleviating extreme poverty in their communities.  Did you know that both Millennium Development Goals #3 and #5 are specifically related to women?  This is not only because extreme poverty disproportionately affects the world’s women, but because the entire future of the developing world rests upon improving the rights, health and economic opportunities of women.

Ever since Ms. Gottlieb’s presentation, I’ve been particularly attuned to this topic of women and the fight to end global poverty.  Two articles from the past week caught my eye.  First, I read an article that called for more input from women, and specifically African women experts, when it comes to figuring out a way to address "the problems of Africa."

Second, I noticed an article entitled "More than Micro" by Women’s Edge President Ritu Sharma in what looks like a cool magazine called World Pulse.  Ms. Sharma discusses the necessity of giving the world’s women the opportunity to grow their micro-businesses into larger businesses through a comprehensive plan that includes training, improved banking infrastructure and sound trade policies.  (For a reminder about what micro-finance is, see this previous post.)  Ms. Sharma was introducing a new campaign for investing in the world’s women by her organization, Global Opportunity for Women campaign.  You can learn more about that campaign and the issues involved at www.womensedge.org/goforwomen.

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