Every once in a while some woman gets fed up with the constant news of war, poverty, greed, environmental degradation, and corruption, and publicly growls, “You know, if women ran the world, it would be a better place.” Detractors immediately howl back, reminding us of the plague that was Thatcherism, but it turns out that we don’t need a matriarchy to improve the world. Just improving the lives of women, guaranteeing their rights, and allowing them to decide their own fates independent of religious or societal control would help piece our world back together. Muhammad Yunus started the Grameen Bank to offer microloans to the rural poor, allowing them to start small businesses and work their way out of poverty. He quickly noticed that women allowed to earn their own incomes “show remarkable determination to have fewer children, educate the ones they have, and participate actively in our democracy.” By 2007, 97 percent of his borrowers were women, and he had won the Nobel Peace Prize.
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