She then leads us through thought provoking quotations and amazing real life stories that the best method to tackle poverty in the third world is through investing in women’s education. These stories form the backbone of her discussion, demonstrating clearly through convincing examples that resources invested in this cause leads to overarching effects exceeding it’s primary purpose and spreading out benefits all across the society. As Sheryl WuDunn eagerly points out – women are not the problem, they are part of the solution. TED videos have become an epitome of perfection and inspiration bringing together people and ideas that span continents, timelines and scientific disciplines. The huge following that these talks have found in the media today is largely spawned by the non technical, approachable language of these discussions. Further, the use of visual media – as in the case of this talk where WuDunn brings us pictures of women from across the world – aids in understanding and creates a greater sense of comprehension and participation among the audience. Sheryl WuDunn and Nikolas Kristoff have been involved in women’s right movement and in particular, their education since 1988 when they were posted in China as news correspondents. They have since been at the forefront of this movement leading to the establishment of “Half the Sky”, borrowing from a Chinese saying that women hold up half the sky. This movement works to create greater awareness of the role of gender inequality in today’s society and to channel more resources into the field of women’s education. They work in collaboration with a number of women’s right organizations across the world and as correspondents for the New York Times and writers of several acclaimed books, they have helped in garnering greater recognition for their own efforts and of others towards this noble cause. Wudunn explains the economic benefits of educating women as follows. In poorer less developed economies men have been the traditional breadwinners. However, it has also been observed that the poor in their societies are trapped in a ‘vicious’ cycle and in many cases an exogenous input of money does not necessarily lead to poverty elimination. WuDunn explains that the poor not only earns less income but also; often have poor spending habits leading to no savings. A major cause for this is that men have been traditionally in charge of spending meaning that most of the money tends to be wasted on drugs, alcohol, prostitution etc. Further, these families tend to have more members leading to greater clutter and demand for resources. However, educated women tend to be aware of the benefits of having fewer children and have greater influence in controlling their education and general upbringing. Further, when women are the primary breadwinners they tend to be more responsible of their earnings, investing in products that are more valuable to the family and that in the long run leads to their upliftment from poverty. To this extent WuDunn sites former World Bank chief economist Larry Summers - “
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