How can you empower a woman? Give her a clean stove.
Women in Africa and other developing countries spend their days cooking over old stoves or open fires without chimneys or proper ventilation. The toxic smoke destroys their lungs, along with the lungs of their children, resulting in 1.9 million premature deaths a year, while sickening many more. In fact, "indoor pollution" is the fourth biggest health risk in the developing world, after unclean water, unsafe sex, and undernourishment.
Today, Hillary Clinton will pledge $50 million to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves on behalf of the State Department. The plan to distribute clean and efficient stoves will also help the environment by reducing consumption of fuel and toxic pollution, and will allow families to save money. I find it truly amazing how a small change — like a new stove — can save lives and make such an important impact on these women's lives.