Since the dawn of human existence wars over land, resources and religious beliefs have segregated populations creating vast instability and inequality. Our primitive notion on life has created a system of win or lose odds. Who ever can obtain the most wins, if
someone else has something we do not,we lose.This back and forth game we play has hindered our ability to grow and prosper as a human race. If we can change our global attitude to a system of win/win a a greater more successful future is much more attainable.
Changing how the world views and treats women is one step closer towards a greater future. A shocking 70 percent of people living in poverty are women. Giving women access to good affordable health care, a decent source of income and the ability to become self sufficient will tackle the underlying causes of gender inequality and promote economic growth around the world. Moreover, Research done by UNIFEM and the World Bank has shown that the countries with higher gender inequality experience greater poverty, slower economic growth,and poor governance.
For millions of the worlds poor, access to financial services such as microfinance institutions (MFI's) have pulled them out of poverty and into self sufficiency. Microfinancing is a service that has provided women with the ability to invest in a business that they own and operate themselves. By allowing women to participate in the business market, microfinancing helps to engender productivity and maximize economic output. Furthermore, studies have found that the majority of the income women earn is more likely than men to be put into the household and family needs including health care, education and food.
Microfinancing may provide many women with greater opportunities to achieve a higher financial status and become less dependable, but most importantly they focus on promoting change at the individual level. In order for microfinancing to become an agent of change for women, it must begin with the individual creating a powerful impact within their own community. Historically women have suffered from disadvantages in access to resources,credit,property, and income. With individual successes, women will be able to alter the way they are perceived and treated within their own communities, creating empowerment in a generally dis-empowered world.
In the past microfinancing has received a bad reputation for being ineffective due to
corruption. It is true that when in the wrong hands businesses can exploit the impoverished with high interest rates, making it almost impossible for the borrowers to help themselves. However, the correct hands, microfinancing can open the door for many opportunities. Microcredit can be improved with greater transparency and accountability from lending organizations. They must be able to monitor how the funds are being used and discontinue funds to institutions that charge very high interest rates or have been accused of corrupt lending practices. With responsible businesses running the microfinance institutions, ground-up development becomes highly possible and brings us one step closer to creating a win/win society.