The United Nations announced from Geneva Switzerland that woman now make up a greater percentage of the world's work force than ever in history. Yet, more women than ever make so little money, that they can hardly survive. The International Labor Organization said "Women now account for 40.5% of the world's work force, the highest figure ever recorded by the U.N. agency."
Of 2.8 billion workers worldwide 1.1 BILLION ARE WOMEN. But, of the 550,000,000 working poor, 60% are women. Yet most social/cultural experts suggest that women play an increasing role in the stability of a culture. Not just as managers of the home, but managers of the ethics that ultimately drive their societies. This is especially true in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Israel, Palestine, Nepal, Thailand...yes, and the United States.
In our research of Micro-Banking organizations such as the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, India, Mongolia and other nations we have found that when women are afforded loans, resources, and opportunity that several social results occur.
- Children go to schools and educational achievements increase.
- Crime and violence upon women and children in those areas decrease.
- Poverty and starvation decrease.
- Health improves.
- Cultural stability increases.
- Domination of religious radicalism declines.
- Economic progress begets ambition, pride and peace!
Consider wars around the world. Most are fueled by the anger caused by lack of opportunity, poverty, and the anger is whipped up by religious and political radicals. But in areas where women have stable jobs and opportunities, the culture changes markedly. Consider the photos in this article, a naked child sitting in the dirt of Haiti watching a man with a gun walk by. See the photo of the soldier in Port Au Prince trying to control violence. One must ask, are long term solutions to social unrest in nations such as Haiti to be gained with guns and violence? Or will the solutions to war and social unrest be through social stability through enduring programs to empower the bedrock of culture...the matriarch, the mother, the one who provides the love, stability and affection to that family, and cultural unit? Research proves that violence begets violence while love and compassion begets stability and growth.
See the photo of the woman in Kumbakonam, India. See her determination, in her prayer ritual bath. See her spirit. Our challenge is to give these women the resources they need to build stability and opportunity for their families. As International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world, Monday, we salute this woman, and the millions of women that she symbolizes.