This issue of Networking Times has highlighted many ways in which women are using their businesses to experience greater balance in their lives. There is an even more important way in which network marketing is promoting balance, but in this case, at a global level.

When we offer women an opportunity to generate an income as home-based entrepreneurs, that income can obviously enhance the quality of life for themselves and their families, but women are also using their money to shape our world in profound ways.

According to the latest research, the earning power of women is projected to reach $18 trillion this year, contributing more to the global economy than China, India, and the technology boom combined.

What’s especially notable about this trend is that women with financial resources invest their capital differently than men do. For instance, women are more likely to fund causes, lead social change initiatives, and invest in education, healthcare, and international aid programs. When women are writing the checks, money flows into areas that have previously been neglected, creating much needed change and improving many lives in the process.

The economic empowerment of women is even more transformational in developing countries where the oppression of girls and women is still epidemic—taking the form of gender-based violence, maternal mortality, sex trafficking, lack of education, and so on. Studies show that one of the fastest ways to affect lasting change in developing countries is to educate and financially empower the women.

When women in these countries make more money (generally through a business) they invest 90 percent of it back into their families, send their children to school, and dramatically improve living conditions within their own communities. This is creating a ripple effect that’s changing nations from the inside out while dismantling ancestral traditions that have kept women enslaved to their circumstances for generations.

Experience shows that women who acquire economic power help to balance out political, economic, and social systems that have been too male-centric. As women step into greater positions of influence, they bring compassion, collaboration, and transparency into areas that have long been dominated by aggression, competition, and self interest. This kind of balance is essential to maintain peace, to effectively manage our resources, and ultimately to the survival of our planet.

Some demographers see the rising economic power of women as the biggest shift of the twenty-first century, and network marketing is part of this important trend.

While our initial goal may be to create our own economic prosperity, we can use our business to help women in other countries break the cycle of poverty, channeling our business profits into causes that are making a difference in this area.

A driving force for balance, network marketing can be a significant contributor to the empowerment of women locally, nationally, and globally.

SONIA STRINGER is founder of Savvy Network Marketing Women, an online community that supports over 70,000 women in network marketing/direct sales to make more money and a bigger difference in the world. Get a free copy of Sonia’s Six-Figure Success Secrets for Network Marketing Women audio at SavvyNetworkMarketingWomen.com