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Founding a Movement: Women’s World Banking, 1975-1990
Chat with Michaela Walsh about her new book, hosted by Bethany McLean.
“The power of women teaching one another is profound. Women’s World Banking was one of the first movements to realize and trust this truth at a global scale. This is what made it a transforming movement.”
-The Honorable Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and Nobel Laureate
Founding a Movement captures the impossible dream realized by a visionary group of women who met in Mexico City at the first United Nations World Conference on Women in 1975, and then, together, created the first global women’s microfinance network. Drawing on more than 80 interviews, Michaela Walsh recounts her extraordinary path as the founding president of Women’s World Banking and brings alive the perseverance, confidence, and shared risk-taking that propelled the movement forward. This book illuminates the birth of a culture of trust-from Kenya to Colombia to the Philippines-where women entrepreneurs could learn from and teach each other to gain control over their economic destinies.
In Walsh’s words, Founding a Movement “shines a light on the value that women contribute through work, and when they support one another, to become full participants in the economy through access to financial institutions and services, and everything that goes with that access.”
“Women’s access to finance, including microcredit, is crucial. Michaela Walsh and Women’s World Banking have broken new ground. Those who wish to follow in their footsteps should read this story.”
- Jan Pronk, former Minister for International Development Cooperation of the Netherlands
MICHAELA WALSH is an activist, scholar, mentor, educator, and author. She has been a pioneer female manager for Merrill Lynch, the first female partner at Boettcher, and the founding president of Women’s World Banking. She has taught at Manhattanville College, served on the Boards of several institutions, and was chairperson of the 59th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference in 2006. She has received numerous awards, including an honor in 2012 from Women’s Funding Network for changing the face of philanthropy. (Cosimo Books)