Economic Empowerment of Women
"Every single girl I meet wants to go to school, and that for me is my biggest, biggest source of hope." – Safeen Husain
In 2015 3.7 million eligible girls were out of school in India. In rural areas, girls receive an average of less than four years of education. In 2005, in the province of Rajasthan, an entrepreneur named Safeen Husain founded
Educate Girls, a 2012 alum of GSBI online, to improve education for girls. After beginning with 50 schools in 2005, Educate Girls grew to 5,500 schools and influenced the education of over 500,000 children in three districts of India. Educate Girls was awarded the prestigious Skoll Foundation award for social entrepreneurship which includes a three-year core investment of $1.25 Million. With aid from Miller Center and other sources, Educate Girls continues to grow and aspires to have more than 9,000 schools
Why Focus On Women?
Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path toward gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth. Every day, women make enormous contributions to economies in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, and at home. 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.
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 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."
Banner photo courtesy of Rangsutra Crafts