FDL Book Salon Welcomes Michaela Walsh, Founding a Movement: Women’s World Banking, 1975-1990

By: Saturday January 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Back in the summer of 1975, a group of women met at the first United Nations Conference on Women in Mexico City. A Danish economist named Ester Boserup had just published an analysis noting that while women performed over 65% of the world’s work, they earned only 10% of the income, and owned less than 1% of the world’s property. And women were routinely denied commercial banking privileges. One of the attendees, Michaela Walsh, had what was at the time a radical observation: unless women got access to money and credit, they would never have power.

Over the next decade, the network she created, which has come to be known as Women’s World Banking, became one of the pioneering forces in helping women entrepreneurs enter the financial world and get credit they would not otherwise have been able to access. Today, WWB is an integral part of what we all know as microfinance.

 

FDL Movie Night: “Bonsai People, The Vision of Muhammad Yunus”

By: Monday October 1, 2012 5:00 pm

Muhammad Yunus is visionary economist and Noble Peace Prize winner who believes in the essential goodness of humanity. Stepping down from the ivory tower of academia, Yunus visited the poorest villages of Bangladesh in 1976 and made a personal loan of $27 to 42 women in the village so they could build and sell bamboo furniture. The loan was paid back with interest, and the women took out a larger loan. Thus microfinance was born. In the past 30 years, microcredit has spread to every continent and has benefited over 100 million people. Yunus’ Grameen Bank (literally “village bank”) has loaned money to 1 out of 1,000 people on earth, at 98% repayment rate.

In Bonsai People, The Vision of Muhammad Yunus, Holly Mosher follows the founding of a Grameen Bank branch and several of the women aided by loans.

Market to US Nuke Builders: Forget About It

By: Friday April 29, 2011 3:31 pm

Despite Congress making nearly $20 billions in construction loan guarantees available since 2005, and the Obama Administration and Congress proposing to add up to $36 billion more, those funds are going begging for applicants, Wald reports. And the few utilities that have applied are backing off.

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