By Sylvia Whitman

ISBN-10: 0816068070

ISBN-13: 9780816068074

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They speak of human rights, not the human race. They advocate for women’s health and women’s schooling, voluntary humancapital improvements. Educating women about health not only reduces maternal ailments and child mortality but also increases the effectiveness of any method of birth control. ” Once parents are truly planning their families, economists point out, they are likely to consider “opportunity costs,” what they give up in order to bear, nurse, and nurture each child. When a society improves a woman’s job prospects and/or schooling, it increases the “productive value” of her time.

131 At first donor funded, Grameen Bank has been self-sustaining since 1995. Its clients buy chickens, goats, and inventory for roadside stands (and even begging); in one of the bank’s most successful projects, women lease cell phones, which they share for a fee, bringing telecommunication ser vices to isolated areas. Once borrowers have a track record, the bank will advance larger sums, including home and education loans. Because women plow their benefits back into their families, Grameen loans have a tremendous ripple effect, and studies have shown borrowers are more likely to vote, to bear fewer children, and to have a say in household decisions.

106 At the other end of the HDI, affluent, egalitarian Sweden has served as the poster child for the welfare state. There the government levies high income and inheritance taxes in order to provide or subsidize benefits, some of them universal (health care, child care, parental leave and allowances, pensions for the elderly) and some based on economic need (housing, sick pay, disability support, unemployment pay). 108 Canada and the United States practice strict workfare, requiring the able-bodied to work, the goal being to wean them off public aid.

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World Poverty by Sylvia Whitman


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