Haiti, Fonkoze & ‘The Female Vision’ – Alex Counts Book Project

> Posted by Center Staff
Alex Counts finds himself reflecting on patriarchy in the latest post on his blog, where he chronicles writing a book about Haitian microfinance pioneer Fonkoze.
I sense that part of what feels liberating to work as a woman in Fonkoze is not getting ones strengths “stripped out” and seeing one’s ability to contribute “dry up” as often happens in patriarchal (i.e., “normal”) organizations.  (At the same time, I have been wondering how my own organization, Grameen Foundation, and others that I am associated with score on this spectrum, and on the experiences of women staff at all levels.)
Counts, the CEO of Grameen Foundation, notes Fonkoze’s “culture rooted in strong female leadership.”
Counts, who was interviewed for the Center’s “Microfinance Matters” series, joined other friends of Grameen Bank to set up Grameen Foundation in 1997. During his recent trips to Haiti, he has been meeting with microfinance industry leaders in general, and in particular with Fonkoze staff.
“Insights from ‘The Female Vision’ for Fonkoze and Microfinance,” his most recent post, begins:
Despite my busy fall schedule working as CEO for Grameen Foundation, the book on Fonkoze is advancing in exciting ways.  I’ve written a draft of the first chapter and gotten helpful feedback from my writing guru Mark Levy.  I’ve talked to Jessica Papin, the woman who is likely to be my agent, and she had some great feedback on the overall project.
One of Jessica’s recommendations is that for the book to have the best chance of success, Fonkoze needs to become better known prior to publication.  So, she suggested that I first write a 10-15,000 word “long form article” for publication in something like Harpers or the New York Times magazine.  (This could push back publication of the book by a year while giving me more time to do research next summer.)  On first blush, I think this sequenced approach is a great idea and most of all, I like the energy and ideas she brings to the project.  It’s exciting to see the team of people who believe in this book and are helping it succeed grow each and every month!
One of the most important and enjoyable parts of writing a book is reading other books whose content and/or approach is helpful.  I recently finished The Female Vision by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson after someone who read my earlier blog on Fonkoze as matriarchy.
You can click the headline to read the rest of “Insights from ‘The Female Vision’ for Fonkoze and Microfinance,” and don’t miss the chance to bookmark the blog or sign up for the feed so that you can follow this project more closely.
Image credit: Rei-artur

Have you read?
Why Write a Book on Fonkoze? – Alex Counts Book Project
11 Surprises from Fonkoze – Alex Counts Book Project
Fonkoze and Madame Saras – Alex Counts Book Project
An Avalanche of Material (Including Repressed Memories) – Alex Counts Book Project
Haiti & Fonkoze in 10 Memories – Alex Counts Book Project
Haiti in the Spotlight as Alex Counts Begins Book on Fonkoze
Grameen Foundation CEO Alex Counts Tackles ‘Re-engineering’ Microfinance
Yunus, Grameen, & Bangladesh – What Are the Facts?
Grameen Foundation Increases Support for Strategic Human Capital Practices at Indian MFIs
On the Anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake: Fonkoze and the ‘Super Poor’

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