In the mid-1970s, an economics Professor in Bangladesh had a radical idea. He decided that he would lend poor women entrepreneurs tiny sums of money, which they could use to invest in small enterprises that would bring their families a steadier income and improve their circumstances. Decades later, Professor Muhammad Yunus and his idea of microloans, as well as the institution he founded to put his ideas into practice, the Grameen Bank, have won the Nobel Peace Prize and gained worldwide acclaim.
The achievements of the Grameen Bank are currently under threat, however, as the government of Bangladesh seeks to assert its control over Grameen and its subsidiaries. RESULTS is calling on all people who support the Grameen Bank to sign a petition calling for the government of Bangladesh to respect the autonomy of Grameen, as well as the rights of its female borrowers, who are in fact a majority of the company’s shareholders thanks to the innovative system of corporate ownership created by Prof. Yunus.
Posted in Development Finance, Microfinance, News, Women
Tagged alistair burt, Bangladesh, Grameen Bank, Hillary Clinton, Microcredit Summit Campaign, Microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, sheikh hasina, Yunus
Photo by 'uncultured'
Today at a major event at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, a group of global leaders launched a new UNESCO Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, called “Better Life, Better Future”. The initiative was launched by UNESCO head Irina Bokova, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In her address to the event Irina Bokova called the initiative ‘a global conscience for gender equality’. The flyer about the initiative points out that not only is education for all a right, which far too many girls and women are currently denied, in addition ‘newly literate women have a highly positive impact on all development indicators, from health to wealth. Women’s literacy beneﬁts not only women themselves, but also their children and the wider community.’
RESULTS has been calling for more attention to the issue of girls and women missing out on education – our May grassroots action addressed precisely this issue and asked for the UK Government to push for more international action to ensure that all children complete their education – at present large numbers of girls drop out before finishing primary school, or fail to make the transition to secondary education – and that education systems are functioning in a way that enables all students regardless of their gender to achieve their potential. During her opening speech to the event today, Irina Bokova thanked the governments of Italy and Japan, as well of course as Secretary Clinton, but the UK was not mentioned despite Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell MP’s pledge to put women and girls ‘at the front and centre’ of UK development aid. Continue reading
Posted in Education for All, News
Tagged Advocacy, Andrew Mitchell, Ban Ki-Moon, Better Future, Better Life, David Cameron, Education for All, Girls' education, Hillary Clinton, Irina Bokova, RESULTS, UNESCO, US