Sunday, August 23, 2009

Empowering Women

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn write (NYT):
In general, aid appears to work best when it is focused on health, education and microfinance (although microfinance has been somewhat less successful in Africa than in Asia). And in each case, crucially, aid has often been most effective when aimed at women and girls; when policy wonks do the math, they often find that these investments have a net economic return. Only a small proportion of aid specifically targets women or girls, but increasingly donors are recognizing that that is where they often get the most bang for the buck.
The authors are promoting their new book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, due out September 8th. It includes generous coverage of Bill Drayton and Ashoka, and of the importance of microfinance. It should instantly become a must read.

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