Women and Sustainability: Why They Need Each Other in a Post-MDG World
There's a lot of talk about investment these days; as the global economic crisis stumbles on, social services are cut from the USA to Uruguay, and the planet faces ever more urgent environmental threats. But next week, women and policymakers from around the world will gather in Malaysia to foment a revolution. Their call? Investment of a different kind, investment in girls and women for the sake not only of people, but also for the planet.
We already know that investing in girls and women -- and especially in family planning services -- is one of the smartest, safest, cheapest, most impactful decisions any nation can make. In Texas, we see this firsthand, as the state legislature scrambles to up funding for family planning services after the financial costs of 2011's funding cuts became apparent.
But here's a new twist: as we face ever-wilder weather, ever-decreasing biodiversity, and ever-shrinking natural resources, investing in women becomes even more vital.
Women's health and the planet's health are inextricably intertwined. For too long we've pretended otherwise, but that is changing rapidly. In fact, there's a powerful ripple effect that emerges from women's empowerment. Women are healthier. Children are healthier. Death and disease go way down. All as a result of simple investments in basic technologies like condoms, the pill, and prenatal healthcare.