Our planet is groaning under the weight of nearly eight billion people. If everyone consumed resources like we do in North America, we’d need four planets. To stop the global stampede toward catastrophe, we need to slow down and reverse the population growth express train and we need to do it quickly.
The good news is that the solution is astonishingly simple: education of women. As women attain higher levels of education, it produces a cascade of benefits – higher living standards, greater feelings of fulfilment, less likelihood of getting stuck in a violent relationship, and fewer children. In fact, in all developed countries, the birth rate is less than what is necessary to maintain the existing population.
Canada needs to take a leadership role promoting the education of women worldwide. This includes harnessing the power of private enterprise to deliver learning through new and innovative channels. It also includes encouraging the growth of micro-finance to help women start businesses.