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Opinion | Pop Culture

Microfinance Is a Women’s Issue

How our philanthropy can empower our sisters across the globe.
Microfinance Is a Women’s Issue
Image: Neil Palmer (CIAT) / Flickr

While we continue to “lean in” and fight for gender parity at work, it’s important to recognize the position of privilege American women have in the marketplace, simply by virtue of living in this country.

Women in the U.S. are rising in the workforce, at every level. They’re starting businesses and working their way up to executive-level positions. As a result, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, women control more wealth in the United States today than ever before.

To state the obvious: We hold immense financial resources in our hands, particularly in comparison to women in the developing world. Our wealth gives us more chances to give, to invest in fellow mothers, wives, and sisters by bringing them the opportunity to work and earn.

"I’m not sure Western women understand the power of restored dignity through work,” wrote Christian author, Jen Hatmaker. "We often disparage work, a luxury of the already empowered. But in a context like Rwanda, work is honorable and coveted, strong and transformative. It literally changes lives.”

When we look at the lives of impoverished women around the world—far more likely than men to be denied education, jobs, and basic rights—work is a life changer. It ensures that no mother has to send her child to bed hungry, or is forced give up something to pay for health care or choose which child to educate.

Microfinance, placing the simple tools ...

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