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Friday, July 10th, 2009 - 3 comments

Invest in Women – it Pays!

At the moment the world loses 15 billion dollars every year in productivity that doesn’t happen because mothers and their newborns are dying – one mother a minute, four million newborns every year. A mother’s death always means deeper poverty and hardship for her family and community. It often means an early death for her other children, especially the newborns, and most especially for girls.

An investment of $10 billion annually could save three of every four women who are dying. And just think what that could mean. Just consider what women deliver. Not just babies!

Around the developing world, women operate most of the small businesses. They are workers who deliver firewood and water, immunization and health care. They bring home income. They bring home food. 90 percent of the labour for growing rice in Southeast Asia is done by women. Eighty per cent of Africa’s food is produced by women. And it is the women of Africa, who carry on their heads or in their arms two-thirds of all the goods that are transported anywhere on the continent. Not trucks or planes, but women.

Women are the economic heart of the developing world. But their rights and their health are neglected. This has to change. Women need to be treated with respect and dignity, they need to be healthy, and they need to be able to plan the number and spacing of their pregnancies. If they are able to do this, they can make sure the family has enough income to give each one enough food, clothes, education and medicine. This would be a gain, not just for themselves, but for their families, communities and nations. Investment in women really pays off.

–Visit the Women Deliver’s Blog: Daily Delivery

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The views expressed in this blog-post are solely those of the author.

Comments (3)

Sonia Heckadon
Saturday 11th July, 2009, 9:44am

It is so hard to understand why it is so difficult to give such a clear message across to decision makers throughout the world. If you invest in women, you are investing in them, a family, a community and in nations! Why then is this so difficult to understand, if we are other half of the world's population? This in mind boggling!

Miriam Ciscar
Tuesday 14th July, 2009, 11:36am

The same patriarchal mind set that undermines women undermines the environment. It comes from a legacy of thousands of years of exploitation. Fortunately things are changing, they have to change, it couldn't be any other how, because the actual economic model is unsustainable. That patriarchal economic model that exploits women and environment is unhealthy to men and children too and happily we are all realizing that...

The problem now is the inertia, a whole system running in one direction with all of us in it, and some, but very few, benefiting from it in the short run.But things are changing,they have to change, it couldn't be any other how, we need to survive as a specie in this planet.

Women and water, women and earth, giver of life, preservers of it , agents of change... economic agents of a different model of development, together with men, it is a matter of survival.

Women’s Status Determines World’s Status. – Conversations for a Better World
Friday 5th March, 2010, 1:02pm

[...] This blog post is a response to the post “Invest in women — it pays!” [...]

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Guest Editor

Jill Sheffield

President, Women Deliver, Women Deliver


Jill Sheffield is the President of Women Deliver and founder of Family Care International, a distinguished non-governmental organization, winner of the 2007 United Nations Population Award for outstanding work in sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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