While American women still earn about 77 cents for every dollar men earn and continue to work hard to close the salary gap, women in other parts of the world earn a mere 30 to 40 percent of what men do.
These are the women who never made it to a classroom, who often forgo already scarce food for themselves to feed other family members, who are unable to start their own businesses and who are likely to die in childbirth or from a preventable disease due to lack of basic health care.
The ability of families worldwide to pull themselves out of poverty -- through education, health and food security -- disproportionately rests on the shoulders of women.
Just ask Barbara Ayisa of Ghana. In her village of Affumkrom, she spends her day growing onions and maize, while taking care of her children. Her husband provides some economic support, but is engaged in other activities, leaving Barbara to manage the household. She benefitted from assistance that teaches her how to store her maize until she can sell it at the best price, earning the most she can for her family.