Friday, August 28, 2009

Stop the presses.

INCREDIBLY POWERFUL ARTICLE in this week's New York Times:

The Women's Crusade: Saving the World's Women

Did you know that more women are missing from the world right now simply due to their gender than all the men killed in all the wars of the entire 20th century?

That assertion is based on the fact that while every country should have an even population of men and women, many have striking gender imbalances. China and India, for example, have 107 and 108 men for every woman respectively. There are almost a hundred million women "missing", more than the deaths from all 20th century wars. That comes from practices of aborting female unborn children, killing female infants just after birth, denying health care to little girls when money is too tight to provide care to all one's children, and high rates of death in childbirth.

A shocking paragraph:

And why does everyone benefit when women enter the work force and bring home
regular pay checks? One reason involves the dirty little secret of global
poverty: some of the most wretched suffering is caused not just by low incomes
but also by unwise spending by the poor — especially by men.

Our interviews and perusal of the data available suggest that the poorest
families in the world spend approximately 10 times as much (20 percent of their
incomes on average) on a combination of alcohol, prostitution, candy, sugary
drinks and lavish feasts as they do on educating their children (2 percent). If
poor families spent only as much on educating their children as they do on beer
and prostitutes, there would be a breakthrough in the prospects of poor
countries. Girls, since they are the ones kept home from school now, would be
the biggest beneficiaries.

Moreover, one way to reallocate family expenditures in this way is to put
more money in the hands of women. A series of studies has found that when women
hold assets or gain incomes, family money is more likely to be spent on
nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently children are healthier.

Whoa! Another interesting section explores the correlation between the most repressive societies toward women and societies with high terrorism rates. Countries that marginalize women are more likely to be hotbeds for terrorism- so repression of girls is a national security issue!

Read this article, yall.

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