Soni and Janessa live on separate continents, worlds away from each other. Yet, the bond they share as women is stronger than culture. It is in their DNA. As women, we are resilient, we are hard workers, and we will do anything for our family. We can do amazing things with little resources and can stretch our grocery dollars to span the needs of our families. From New York to Nigeria, we are the same.
Studies conducted in the last few years have proven that women hold the key to lifting vulnerable communities out of poverty. In November of 2014, the Bread of the World Institute presented the results from their recent hunger report: “When Women Flourish, We Can End Hunger.” The main findings of the report indicated that by empowering women and girls around the world, hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition can be significantly diminished. It also stated that women are disproportionally at risk for these issues due to discrimination, especially in developing countries with minimal resources.
Women are born savers. Studies performed in both developed and developing countries have proven that women outperform men on saving, and women are better at making their money go further to cover the needs of their family. Women also know how to maximize their impact. Research shows that investing in women can create the most widespread impact from increases in health and education outcomes to reductions in crime and corruption. When women earn a paycheck, they are less likely than men to spend it on themselves and more likely to cover their family’s immediate needs of food, medicine and schooling. Most do this while also maintaining their households, whether in a thatched shack in India or a suburban ranch house in the Midwest. For any woman with a family, her life is nonstop and her work is endless, but she never loses sight of what she is trying to accomplish.
Women are the heart and soul of their community. Women have been known for centuries for their abilities to love and nurture, but there is so much more. Especially for women in poverty, there is an ability to rise above the circumstances, to do more with less, to hope for a better future. Women around the world, from Bangladesh to Boston, know that they invest in their children and their community they will create a better life for everyone around them. They know that if they save a little they can invest in something big, They know that if they start building now they can create something sustainable for the future. The world needs women to walk their walk and create their dreams. And the women need us to partner with them to take the first step.
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