Global Poverty and Development


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Poverty in developing countries is a function of education, gender, and age (as in the U.S.) but also of property rights, political voice, and low levels of national income. Poverty may be reduced by increasing economic growth, improving property rights, addressing discrimination against women and girls, and improving access to education.

Mary Baldwin’s minor in global poverty and development gives students the tools to understand why some countries are rich and some are poor and compare policy options for increasing incomes and opportunities in the developing world.

Why study global poverty and development at Mary Baldwin University?

In September 2000, world leaders gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration which committed nations to policies aimed at eradicating extreme world poverty by 2015. The objectives of the declaration — now known as the Millennium Development Goals — include ending poverty and hunger, fighting gender inequality, protecting maternal health, providing universal primary education, and working towards environmental sustainability.

Why did the United Nations choose these specific goals? What policy tools can nations use in pursuit of these goals? Are the goals realistic? What will it take to reach them? Mary Baldwin’s minor in global poverty and development provides students with the information and critical thinking skills necessary to answer these and other related questions. Students in the minor learn about what works — and what doesn’t work — to promote economic development from both the political and economic perspectives.

End Poverty 2015: Millennium Development Goals
The World Bank
International Monetary Fund
Human Development Reports



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