Women comprise 70 percent of the world's poor, even though an increasing number are the primary breadwinners in their families.
Because they are poor, women have less access to credit and thus can't invest in ways to increase their income to better provide for their children. Microfinance programs combat poverty, especially for women, by providing financial services for the poor. Raising women's incomes have incredible effects. Their children get a healthier diet, and a chance to go to school, expanding their lifetime opportunities.
Enabling women to earn a better income is the first step to breaking the viscous cycle of poverty. Tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to focus on programs that lift women out of poverty.
- Former Secretary of State
I am writing today to encourage you to focus development efforts on programs that help women get access to credit and earn greater incomes.
It's been shown time and again that enabling women to increase their incomes can lift entire families out of poverty. If women have enough money, they can better feed their children and even send them to school where they can increase their opportunities to live outside poverty.
But women have a harder time getting access to credit. This limits their economic opportunities and makes it harder for them to support their families, even though an increasing number of women are primary breadwinners.
Microfinance programs provide loans to the world's poorest -- 70 percent of whom
are women. I urge you to support programs that open up economic opportunity to
women as a way to end poverty.
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