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Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.

January 25, 2011

A paramount moral challenge of this century is the brutality inflicted on so many women and girls around the globe: sex trafficking, acid attacks, bride burnings and mass rape. In much of the world, girls are uneducated and women are marginalized in countries that are disproportionately poor, chaotic, and taken over by fundamentalism. There’s a growing recognition that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.
Increasingly, the UN, NGOs and even some governments are coming to the same conclusion — directing humanitarian aid toward women is the most financially and socially effective way to get results. Whether through small-scale aid projects or larger government endeavors, women have proved to the world that they have what it takes to lift themselves, their families, and communities out of poverty. Throughout history, women have proven to the world that they are community minded.
An old African proverb says, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, if you educate a woman, you educate a community.” At Linkage’s 2009 Summit on Leading Diversity, Maria Otero, United States Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and formerly the president and CEO of ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance working in 25 countries in around the globe, gave example after example of how women who were granted micro financing loans created successful business and uplifted their communities.
Undeniably, investing in women is an effective solution to issues relating to global poverty and human rights. As such, more attention, aid, and tools need to be invested in empowering women to change the world.
So many of our companies have a global footprint and are working in 3rd world, impoverished communities. Corporate America needs to see the uplifting and empowerment of women and girls not only as a responsibility, but also as a benefit – there’s a business case for it. It’s good for everyone’s future. It is a global social responsibility, and like so many diversity-related issues, the right thing to do also is a business driver. At our Linkage’s 2011 Leading Diversity Summit, Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky, Pulitzer Prize winner, and journalist, will help us make the connections between women’s health and welfare, the eradication of global poverty, and the success of our businesses. For more information on how you can participate in this globally-relevant and timely conversation, please visit

Dark haired woman watches from audience of conference event

Women in Leadership Institute

NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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