The Need For More Philanthropic Funding for Women’s Programs

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There was great excitement this month when Melinda Gates announced she would spend $1 billion over the next ten years to help close the gender gap. The announcement refocused attention on just how little funding is currently focused on programs specifically for women and girls.

Melinda Gates wants these funds promoting women’s professional advancement to achieve greater presence in fields that can reshape society (Gates suggests technology and politics.)

Fear not; help is on the way! Led by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), a new Women and Girls Index has been launched. This is a public database of female-led nonprofits, focused on women’s causes, trying to make change. The problem with this help is that, at the moment, it only covers up to 2016—which leaves out some current women’s focuses such as the Women’s March, #MeToo, and #TimesUp.

Based on its data, nonprofits focused on specifically on women and girls seem to get the scraps of the funding world. Furthermore, of the 1.6 percent of giving that goes to women-focused organizations, 90 percent goes to one focused area: reproductive health. That leaves little for programs that build women’s…


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