Making the Case of Women and Girls

Although the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, it is ranked as one of lowest of the developed nations on most measures of women’s economic security, health and well-being. This means that American women everywhere bear a significantly disproportionate burden of poverty, workplace inequities, homelessness, abuse and other barriers to self-sufficiency. Women of color encounter these barriers and burdens more frequently.

In the United States:

  • Women without a high school diploma have a 90% chance of raising their children in poverty
  • Women that complete at least their secondary education are more likely to have fewer and healthier children that are more likely to stay in school
  • Women working full time are paid on average just 80 percent of what men typically earn
  • Nearly one in three women experiences some form of physical violence in her lifetime

Tracking existing foundation dollars towards women and girls issue areas reveals a large disparity in the financial support towards these organizations and programs.

In 2017, Womenade Boston undertook a research project to gain a deeper understanding of the funding landscape locally and nationally, specifically in the area of support for programs serving women and girls. Reporting is imperfect and data is difficult to access because the reporting burden falls primarily on grant recipientss, not the organizations that fund them. Nevertheless, using available data from the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, the Foundation and Women's Funding Center, and the U.S. Census Bureau, we learned that in the United Stated, less than 8 cents of every dollar given through organized philanthropy is targeted toward women and girls.

Between 2006 and 2017 in the Boston area, of the approximately 120,000 grants worth $63 billion reported, only 369 of those grants with a value of $10 million, were directed to programs serving women and girls. This disparity is shocking and discouraging, particularly in light of the research that shows that investment in women activates a multiplier effect. Women on average reinvest 90% of their income into family and community.

The good news? Women's funds - like Womenade Boston - are playing a crucial role in addressing this funding disparity. But we need to do more.

Learn more:

Identifying Funding Disparities in Women and Girls’ Programming in Boston: Making the Case for Women’s Charitable Giving

Why Invest in Women and Girls?

Womenade Boston Case Statement

Brookings: Social Mobility Memos - "Enough about men: 3 reasons to boost women's work"