Tens of millions of ‘missing’ girls
(CNN) — Discrimination against women and girls takes a staggering toll around the world, says author Sheryl WuDunn. It leads to as many as 100 million fewer females than males in the world.
Ending the oppression of women is the great moral challenge of the 21st Century, a cause she compares to fighting slavery in the 19th century and totalitarianism in the 20th Century.
The solutions, she says, are education and economic opportunity. Overpopulation is one of the larger contributors to poverty, WuDunn said. “When you educate a girl, she has significantly fewer kids.” Girls who go to school get married later in life and educate their children “in a more enlightened way.”
“So let us be clear about this up front: We hope to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women’s power as economic catalysts.
Phi Beta Iota: It merits comment that micro-lending was a success because its founder recognized that women, not men, would be the more reliable and productive catalyst. It also merits comment that the best aid investment, dollar for dollar, is in the education of women. What is missing is the “giant leap forward” that would come from distributing free telephones and creating multi-lingual call centers that educate women–and men–one cell call at a time, while serving as catalysts for harnessing the distributed intelligence of the Whole Earth, creating smart neighborhoods to smart nations to a smart planet.