That's astonishing by itself, but, at least for me, the real punch of this article lies not so much in its compilation of facts, but in the way it explains the tragedy and stupidity of this "gendercide" and its implications for the rest of the world. There's a growing body of research that suggests that educating girls and giving aid to poor women may be most effective ways to alleviate global poverty. Many of the world's poorest countries are also those with the lowest rates of female education, and researchers are concluding that the two may be related: by neglecting girls' education, those countries are essentially using only half the talent available to them.
As I was reading, it occurred to me one of the reasons--if not the main reason--that I care so much about doing good work is simply because I can. I touched on this in an op-ed I linked to in an earlier post, but I think it bears repeating, especially because I worry that sometimes this blog makes me sounds as though I think I'm somehow entitled to a good job, when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. I know I'm incredibly privileged even to be looking for a job in the first place. Had I been born almost anywhere else at almost any other time, my job would be raising children, and that would be that. So, once again, I'm not kidding when I say I feel like I have a moral obligation to find employment that will help other people in meaningful ways. And if that doesn't convince people I'm a motivated worker, I don't know what will.