Happy International Women's Day

It's no great secret that the education and empowerment of women is absolutely critical in the struggle against world poverty. Women's education rates are key to lowering birthrates in developing countries... an important step in avoiding environmental catastrophe and resultant hunger. The greater the education of women, on average, the higher their income. In comparison to men, women spend a far higher proportion of their income on their children. The health and education of future generations can best be achieved by educating women, and by empowering them through "microeconomic" schemes.

So today I would like to applaud the Obama administration for establishing a global women's post. (see http://www.theage.com.au/world/obama-creates-post-to-tackle-global-womens-issues-20090307-8rwk.html) This can only be a step in the right direction for human rights and human wellbeing across the planet.

The Obama administration... like governments all across the globe... face an enormous challenge in the face of an almost unprecedented global economic downturn. I don't believe anyone really knows the way to clean up this financial mess... although governments across the globe are spending money furiously to soften the blow. Whether this works or not remains to be seen. It is an important challenge for the developed world to remember the plight of the desperately poor, while attempting to placate voters disaffected by unemployment and collapsed superannuation and investments.

This women's post is a step in the right direction, in a time where it's easy to be tempted to only consider internal issues, rather than the good of all around the earth. Regardless of whether one's political views lean to the right or the left, I believe this is an initiative to be applauded... a small step in the direction of shalom.

Peace to you this women's day.

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