As those of you familiar to iZōsh® know, we definitely don’t shy away from difficult topics, inviting speakers with hard stories to tell and hear, and exploring reading material that challenges ideas about justice and safety for women worldwide. The Locust Effect by Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros is no exception.

Recommended by iZōsh’s upcoming speaker, Christine Chan Downer, The Locust Effect shines light on daily struggles faced by those who live in extreme poverty around the world. As the iZōsh membership continues to educate ourselves about the lives of others, this book highlights the reality of ongoing violence and corruption faced by countless women, children, and men in the developing world.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.54.22 PMAt many points, including the first chapter, this is a very difficult book to read. Haugen and Boutros provide us with a painful education, through stories and statistics. At the iZōsh event on April 22nd, we will consider excerpts from Chapter 5 during the book discussion. In recent years many of us have learned about systemic challenges in our own criminal justice system here in the United States. Chapter five shines light on challenges faced at every level of “justice” in much of the developing world. These start with the local police, and include prosecutors and, often, the courts themselves.

During our evening together we’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many women who live in extreme poverty as we grant micro-loans. We’ll also consider what sort of a difference these resources could make in the lives of women facing systemic challenges in their justice systems.

In the book’s final chapter, Haugen and Boutros outline an extensive and very successful experiment that has brought significant change to the second largest metropolitan area of the Philippines. Two of the major contributors to this work were the International Justice Mission and the Gates Foundation. They also had a variety of on-the-ground partners and requirements to produce measurable results as part of their work. Our speaker, Ms. Downer, had the opportunity to observe some of the changes and success while on the ground in Cebu City, Philippines.

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