Advancing Women and Girls Now
Why Focus On Women?
Women and girls suffer more from the effects of poverty, such as ill health and lack of education. And generally, women have fewer paths out of poverty:
- Due to cultural norms, and family and community responsibilities, poor women have even fewer economic opportunities than poor men do.
- Women have less control over the money they do earn and as a result, less financial security.
Our Work with Social Entrepreneurs to Advance Women and Girls
Social Enterprises Benefiting Women
Bana, in Uganda, manufactures and sells comfortable, low-cost and biodegradable sanitary pads from the fiber of banana pseudo-stems. Local women are recruited and trained by Bana to sell the pads to local villages. These “Champions” use the Avon-lady distribution method to sell the pads to young girls.
Women-Led Social Enterprises
Educate Girls is bringing India’s rural girls back to school. In 2015, 3.7 million eligible girls were out of school and girls in rural areas receive less than 4 years of education. Girls without a secondary education are 6 times more likely to be married as children; a fact that leads to serious health complications and limited opportunities for women to participate socially and economically, thus hampering efforts to eradicate poverty.
Investing In Women And Girls Is The Best Way To End Poverty For Everyone
- Focusing on gender equity can lead to transformative, positive impacts for entire communities because money that is made by women is much more likely to be spent on things like school fees for their children and correcting social ills in their communities.
- Women social entrepreneurs, more than their men counterparts, tend to take on more complex societal challenges, such as human trafficking and education, in more comprehensive ways.
Social entrepreneurship is a pro-woman economic development strategy. It addresses challenges they care most about, in ways that build their capacity to create and sustain positive change.
Our Commitment To Advancing Women and Girls
Miller Center is creating tools and practices that help more women become successful social entrepreneurs, and help more social enterprises focus on women and girls as customers and beneficiaries.
- We support women social entrepreneurs:
- We are working towards gender-balanced cohorts in our all of our programs, offering specialized training for women as needed.
- We are exploring options for all-women cohorts that provide a space for collaboration among women, on women’s issues.
- We score and select entrepreneurs based on their ability to advance women’s equity, in addition to climate change.
- We support undergraduate women as Global Social Benefit Fellows who partner with our Miller Center GSBI Alumni to support their work. To date, almost 80% of the Fellows are young women.
- We embrace a human development and capabilities approach in all of our work, using the framework of "Eight Building Blocks for an Integrated Approach to Sustainable, Impactful Economic Empowerment for Women."