THE BLOG
05/08/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

International Women's Day Is Today

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International Women's Day is a global celebration of women with a focus on how to improve the lives of women around the world.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof outlines three proven steps to advance women in the world. Here are some of his ideas:

First, I think girls' education may be the single most cost-effective kind of aid work. It's cheap, it opens minds, it gives girls new career opportunities and ways to generate cash, it leads them to have fewer children and invest more in those children, and it tends to bring women from the shadows into the formal economy and society. It's not a panacea, of course. Lebanon and Sri Lanka were leaders in girls' education, and both ended up torn apart by conflict. In India, the state of Kerala has done a fine job in girls' education, but its state economy is still a mess and dependent on remittances. But overall, educating girls probably has a greater transformative effect on a country than anything else one can do ...

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... we need more support for women starting businesses. These can be microsavings and microlending programs, or training in entrepreneurship. BRAC and Grameen have done great work in this area, as has Injaz in the Middle East. Such programs lead women to bring in incomes, and that gives them more weight in the home and society. Moreover, they tend to invest the income in their children, so there's a broader effect in fighting poverty.

You can read the full article here: Three Proven Steps to Advance the World's Women, on International Women's Day: Nicholas D. Kristof Blog -- NYTimes.com.

Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed. is a writer and editor specializing in helping women be seen and heard around the world. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband.

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