For those of you who share my passion for the "women's thing," purchase a copy of the May/June 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs. Then read the awesome piece by Isobel Coleman titled "The Payoff From Women's Rights"(free preview). She argues persuasively that the issue is not merely about the right thing to do, but it also helps curb extremism, spurs democracy, and is ... The BEST Way ... to spur Economic Development. As women become fully educated and engaged economically, incomes rise, birth rates fall, agricultural productivity improves, more emphasis is placed on educating one's kids, etc, etc, etc. Also included is a strong pitch for micro-financing, of which I've been a raving fan for years. The article quotes economist, Harvard president, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as saying that "girls' education may be the investment that yields the highest returns in the developing world."
Good stuff! (Awesome stuff!)