Why the World Should Invest in Women



“Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.” 

--Queen Elizabeth I

Let me share with you the stories of two women.  The first is Janessa.  Janessa has two young children, aged 3 and 5.  As a single mother, Janessa works two jobs to support her family.  She wakes up early to get her children fed, dressed, and off to daycare while she works as a nurse’s assistant in a long-term care center.  She finishes her shift, picks up her kids, feeds them dinner and goes through their bedtime rituals.  She completes this routine 5 days a week, and works a part-time job as a waitress on the weekends to make ends meet.  Janessa is a hard worker, but is proud of the way she is able to provide for her children and hopes that through her sacrifices they will have access to a life without as much struggle as the one she had growing up.
                Now meet Soni.  Soni wakes up before the sun rises to feed her baby girl, then straps her daughter on her back along with 40-pounds of tools for the day and goes to work tilling fields for 8 hours in 90-degree heat.  Soni works 6 days a week, and is proud that she has a home of her own, food for her daughter and a good paying job.  She hopes that her daughter will grow up strong and able to care for herself, just like her mom.

                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.




Holly Godfrey
Holly Godfrey

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