Imagine if women in developing countries had more money and more education and more power. We would live in a world where disagreements would be settled diplomatically (not by the ravages of war), children would be educated and fed (not sold into slavery), and communities would flourish – regardless of religion or political beliefs. Change is happening with micro-loan operations.
Nicholas D. Kristof is a New York Times Op-Ed columnist and Sheryl WuDunn is a former Times correspondent who works in finance and philanthropy. This essay is adapted from their book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which will be published next month by Alfred A. Knopf. You can learn more about “Half the Sky” at nytimes.com/ontheground.