InStep is Infosys' global internship program. On the Voices @ InStep blog, interns, mentors and professors from the world’s best universities blog on careers and cultural assimilation in the Flat World, and the significance of an internship at a global company.

« Tomorrow's careers start here? | Main | A little less desperate »

Invest in a Girl and She Will Do the Rest

With all the talk about sustainable development, it is important to look at the people who should make up half the effort. At the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Clinton stated that women produce 50% of the world's food, do 66% of the world's work, earn 10% of the world's income and own 1% of the world's property.

Over the past couple weeks, there's been a lot of buzz over the latest development book Half the Sky. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the book focuses on how investing in women can lift communities out of poverty. The title comes from a Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky" and illustrates how empowering women creates opportunity for communities.

Last year, The Girl Effect illustrated the theory that women are the key to ending poverty in their viral video.  A woman is more likely to spend her money on education, health and improving her family's status. Hopefully, Half the Sky will reach out to an even larger audience to support women around the world by telling the stories of women trapped in oppressive conditions and the few success stories. For example, Sheryl WuDunn, in a TV interview, shared the story of the woman in Pakistan who went from getting beaten by her unemployed husband to receiving a US $65 and started an embroidery business employing thirty families in the village including her husband.

The book goes beyond narrative and encourages readers to participate online. Kristof regularly blogs on the topic and has created the hashtag on Twitter for #HalfTheSkyTuesday to spread the word. Readers can also help finance microloans to women through, Pro Mujer or any number of organizations listed on the Half the Sky Movement page. It's easy to make a difference too. From my dorm room in the United States, I was able to donate money to a female poultry farmer in Tanzania to buy food and treatment for chickens in about fifteen minutes.


They do 66% of world's work and own 1% of world's property. Astonishing.

But then average is average. I am sure the study findings have been constructed after including poor plight of women from this subcontinent. I wish to know where they stand on an India centric study. How much property actually women own in here.

But then again, there are some states in India, like Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland where by default women become the owner of the property. People will be astonished to know that dowry system works the other way round in these north eastern states. The guy has to actually pay handsome amount and other kinds to bride's family. Isnt that beautiful as anecdote?

This is a great topic, thank you for focusing on it. Along with enabling girls through education, if we can give them a better chance at connecting with each other, this will magnify the 'girl effect.' Thus, social networking can be a force for good.

Really,when I came through the
blog, it suddenly stroked me.The main point The point I like is that girl effect. They can really do it. If we think what girls do then we should not hesitate to say that they do the lion share works. But it really pathetic that they own just 1% of world's property.We have to think more for them.If a good amount can invest on girls, trust me they really can change the world, & 'll hold half the sky with self respect.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please key in the two words you see in the box to validate your identity as an authentic user and reduce spam.