It was International Women’s Day a few days ago and I am so so grateful for all of the beautiful women in my life. In Uganda, this day is a big deal (the U.S. should take note).
As I reflect on my time here, my own experiences as a woman and the role of gender in the developing world, I am reminded of a wonderfully relevant quote by Nicholas Kristof in Half the Sky:
“Think about the major issues confronting us in this century. These include war, insecurity, and terrorism; population pressures, environmental strains, and climate change; poverty and income gaps. For all of these diverse problems, empowering women is part of the answer. Most obviously, educating girls and bringing them into the formal economy will yield economic dividends and help address global poverty.
Environmental pressures arise almost inevitably from surging population growth, and the best way to reduce fertility in a society is to educate girls and give then job opportunities. Likewise, we’ve argued that one way to soothe some conflict-ridden societies is to bring women and girls into schools, the workplace, government and business, partly to boost the economy and partly to ease testosterone –laden values of these countries. We would never argue that the empowerment of women is a silver bullet, but it is an approach that offers a range of rewards that go far beyond simple justice.” p.4063