We know that women around the world struggle to find the same opportunities as men – whether in Boston, MA, home to our U.S. headquarter; in Baghdad, Iraq, one of the areas where we are currently working; or anywhere in between. The struggles that women face vary greatly, but there is, unfortunately, a shared experience of marginalization that many women face no matter where they live. In the U.S. in 2010, for example, women earned just 77 cents for every dollar men made, and out of the 500 top earning companies in the United States, only 21 are run by women.
Now imagine the same inequalities paired with natural disaster, extended conflict, and extreme poverty.
There are too many places where women are raising their children in the harshest reality without resources or opportunity. While providing aid is a short-term solution, we believe there is a better way to create lasting change.
The reality is that investing in women and girls with long-term economic solutions is proven to be one of the highest return opportunities in the developing world – with an enormously positive ripple effect. Here are some facts:
- 90% of women’s earnings are invested into their families. (World Bank)
- $1 in the hands of a woman is, on average, worth $10 in the hands of a man. (Population Council)
- When 10% more of its girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases an average of 3%. (Council on Foreign Relations)
- When girls receive 7 years of schooling, they marry 4 years later and have 2.2 fewer children. (United Nations Population Fund)
- Educated mothers are 50% more likely to immunize their children. And when more girls are educated, a country’s malnutrition and HIV rates decline. (UNGEI, the Council on Foreign Relations)
Investing in women transforms lives, families, communities and countries.
“If we are going to see real development in the world, then our best investment is women.”
– Desmond Tutu