Why an Initial Focus on Women?

Verna Eggleston of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Women are resilient. An investment in a woman is an investment in community, an investment in a country, an investment in a nation, because women immediately invest and put their returns back into their families, straight away.

Research demonstrates that when women are economically empowered, entire nations benefit as rates of poverty decrease and rates of economic growth increase. Donors and implementers alike know that investing in women is not just good practice; it is critical to achieving long-term impact in a region. They understand the why. The challenge for funders and practitioners often remains in the how.

The guiding definition of women’s economic development that Foundation Center relied on to compile the content on this website is borrowed from the International Center for Research on Women:

A woman is economically empowered when she has both the ability to succeed and advance economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions.