Headline January 18, 2018/ '' 'WHEN GIRLS WORK' ''


AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC Forum, in Davos, Switzerland in 2012.......

The Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asked Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg if the world would look different with greater investments in girls and women.

Sandberg, who was already famous for her ''lean in'' philosophy, said the world would indeed look different. She explained, ''The data is pretty clear that women spend ninety per cent of their income on their children.

And men, I think is more like forty per cent.'' She turned to the former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, then the executive director of U.N. Women, who corrected her estimation. Sandberg clarified : men spend ''thirty to forty per cent.''

Over the years, I came across this statistic, again and again, on the Web sites and in the policy documents of the most powerful global development organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations agencies.

It is often cited as the key piece of evidence that investing in poor girls and women in Asia, Africa and Latin America creates a high rate of return.

They will supposedly marry later and delay childbearing, and in doing so, generate economic development, limit population, growth, educate their children, improve children and women's health, conserve environmental resources, and control the spread of H.I.V.

They will end the so-called cycle of poverty in which individuals, families, communities, and nations get caught.

This story was popularized by the Nike Foundation's viral Girl Effect Videos and written into best-selling books, such as Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's ''Half the Sky'' and Greg Mortenson's now discredited ''Three Cups of Tea.''

Beyond simply capturing audiences, the idea underlying this statistic has influenced development policies and programs from Liberia to Afghanistan.

Development institutions such as the United States Agency for International Development, the Gates Foundation, and international N.G.O's like care have taken up this view of girls and women as the most responsible economic actors in the household, and have integrated it into their programs on the grounds of both equity and efficiency.

[The flip side of this idea is that ''third world'' men create little value for development by spending their money on ''whiskey and other women,'' as Sandberg put it at Davos.]

I was first introduced to a version of the statistic a decade ago, when I was a volunteer with the Clinton Global Initiative's girls and women's commitment.

During this time, I was a Ph.D, candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, conducting dissertation research on the transnational network of philanthropic and development institutions focused on girls and women.

In the weeks before the organizations 2009 meeting, I was introduced to Bill Clinton's speechwriter by my supervisor, who referred to me as ''our in-house girls expert''. The speechwriter wanted me to draft talking points for Clinton on girls and women health, economic empowerment, and education, based on statistics that I had been given by another C.G.I employee,

Under the heading ''Why investing in Girls and Women Works,'' I found the following : ''When an educated girl earns income she reinvests ninety percent in her family, compared to thirty-five percent for a boy.''

The Nike Foundation was listed as its source, but from my research on the foundation I had reason to doubt that.

Though the foundation collected data to monitor the grantees it funded around the world, it did not conduct the type of research necessary to produce a statistic that could be generalized to all girls and women around the world. 

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Girls and Women who work, continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher, Dr.Kathryn Moeller.

With respectful dedication to the Working Girls, Women, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections and ''register'' on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com, and Twitter -E-!WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Ghosts & Garbs '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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