Below is an excerpt of an article published today in Global Partnerships Blog. For the full article, click here.
By Tara Murphy Forde, director of research & impact, Global Partnerships, and Karen Larson, executive director, Friendship Bridge
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8, 2014) by highlighting the importance of empowering women around the world. This year’s U.N. theme is “Equality for women is progress for all,” and it echoes Global Partnerships’ (GP’s) belief that investing in women is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty.
What Happens When Women are Empowered?
At GP we believe that increasing women’s access to resources and information enables them to make decisions that improve the wellbeing of their families, businesses, and communities. In turn we seek partners like Friendship Bridge, a nonprofit organization that provides microcredit and education to Guatemalan women, so they can create their own solutions to poverty. Through Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program, women start, expand or diversify their businesses and learn practical, applicable lessons on everyday topics including business, health and self-esteem. Today more than 20,000 Friendship Bridge clients participate in the program, resulting in:
- A greater ability to weather economic shocks, such as illness or natural disaster
- Decreased malnutrition
- Decreased spousal abuse
- Improved hygiene and health care
- Increased number of children attending school, especially girls
- Increased support, camaraderie, and self-esteem among borrowers
- Increased family planning (borrowers are 50% more likely to have fewer children)
GP seeks innovators – by that we mean organizations that aim to improve, refine, and renew their approach to solving the world’s toughest problems. By leveraging cross-trained loan officers to provide education during group repayment meetings, Friendship Bridge is achieving high levels of participation and excellent loan repayment rates while incurring low marginal costs. This refined approach means that Friendship Bridge can arm more women with the tools and information they need to transform their lives.
This is an excerpt of an article from Global Partnerships Blog. For the full article, click here.