The Female Factor

from The New York Times:

Reaching a Sisterhood of the Needy

The Women’s Funding Network, a U.S.-based nongovernmental group, says it unites more than 160 women’s funds or foundations from 26 countries with assets of $535 million to improve the lives of women and girls.

The amount is both impressive yet, when compared with the recent losses of big banks, paltry. In a sense, that sums up where professional women find themselves: able to make something of a difference, but not much of a world-changing impact.

A map on the network’s Web site makes clear that the vast majority of the funds are in the United States, concentrated on the West and East coasts. For all the star-studded attention to, say, Africa, charity would seem often to begin at home, and stay quite close. Which in the austerity taking hold in the West may be vital and simply practical, given the juggling and effort required to meet what, in an age of declared equality, seem like fairly basic demands.