Media Round Up: Defense of Grameen Bank Helps Build Pressure in Bangladesh

August 23, 2012
by Allison Grossman, Senior Legislative Associate

Earlier this month, RESULTS Legislative Director John Fawcett wrote about the government of Bangladesh’s continued efforts to take control of Grameen Bank away from its millions of women borrowers. Unfortunately, the government is still moving forward – just today, the published a piece in The New York Times online praising the structure of Grameen Bank and women who run it. Of the government’s actions, Bornstein says:

“It is a powerful blow against an institution that has flourished and helped millions of poor people largely because it is in the hands of women…’Grameen Bank’ means ‘village bank,’ but the government-appointed board members, no matter how well educated, cannot appreciate the real struggles of village life. They are accustomed to being served tea and biscuits throughout the day.”

On August 14, former US ambassador to Bangladesh William Milam wrote a powerful op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. He said:

“Grameen Bank is important because it established the microfinance model–banks that provide unsecured loans for poor women for investing in income earning projects. It has been copied throughout the world and inspired the phenomenal growth of micro finance.”

Milam further deplored governments around the world to stand up to Prime Minster Hasina’s government:

“I am sure it will take more than words to deflect it. The U.S. and European governments will have to threaten to cut off bilateral assistance programs and other aid through multilateral institutions like the World Bank.”

And on August 18, Eliot Daley urged us all to take action in the Trenton Times:

“It has seemingly always been the case that enlightened advances forged over decades by millions of dedicated people working together can be trashed with astounding finality by one misguided ‘leader.’ We owe it to those who created Grameen Bank, and to history, to show that such travesties are not inevitable.”

It is critical that we continue this onslaught of public pressure on the government of Bangladesh. In his post, John outlined three key ways you can support Grameen Bank – visit the post to read more.

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