Reaching New Heights: SHOUHARDO Report
The Case for Measuring Women’s Empowerment
Economists and nutrition experts from around the world were shocked at the numbers coming out of Bangladesh. They had never seen anything like the results of a program designed to fight malnutrition and improve the lives of more than two million of the country's poorest people. Stunting, a measure of the shortfall in a child’s growth due to malnutrition, had plummeted 28 percent from February 2006 to November 2009, even as Bangladesh suffered a crop-crushing cyclone and food-price spikes caused by global grain shortages. The annual stunting decrease was nearly double the average for U.S. government food security projects of this kind. The single most effective intervention? Women's empowerment.