Last week, at the invitation of my friend Muhammad Yunus, I traveled to Bangladesh, a truly humbling and inspiring experience. I met so many incredible people struggling to improve their country and their lives.
As we mark the second International Day of the Girl on October 11, I'm calling for a similar recognition of the power and potential of girls, enlisting them in our mission to bring safe, sustainable sanitation to the billions who live without it.
As Members of the United States Senate who are committed to the economic advancement of women around the globe, we are profoundly troubled by recent proposals that would fundamentally alter the future of Bangladesh's Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank.
Many leaders and philosophers say we should end poverty, but through his visionary innovation, tireless hands-on work, and dogged unwillingness to accept it, Dr. Muhammad Yunus has made ending the cycle of poverty a reality.
Grameen Bank has been built with the funds of the poor women. How can the Inquiry Commission propose to hand over the majority shares of an organization which is owned 97 percent by private citizens to the government?
Let's shift the discourse away from 'women vs. women', which sounds like a tawdry Las Vegas boxing match, and move it towards a much deeper conversation about what we need to do to get more women in leadership positions in both the public and private sector and eradicate poverty.
A growing unrest is stirring the global microcredit market. Some are asking whether microcredit has really benefited the poor. Although the spotlight might be uncomfortable, microfinance institutions should welcome this soul searching.
In a destitute country facing famine, natural disasters, and a beleaguered government, Muhammad Yunus saw an opportunity to help people one by one, and built an organization of others helping poor people help themselves
One of the interesting things about microfinance in Bangladesh is that its intense market saturation has not resulted in a crisis of over-indebtedness or unmanageable default. "Overlapping" is common -- that is, clients taking loans from several MFIs at the same time.
Remove foreclosure as an outcome of non-payment and an entirely fresh vision of borrower-lender relationship is put in place, now as cooperating partners, as in a business deal, because that's really what it is.
Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Grameen Bank, which started out by offering small loans to Bangladesh's poor women to help encourage self-enterprise and foster community development.