March 7: With the International Women’s Day approaching, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a US$170 million project, aiming to advance women’s economic empowerment. The project will focus on four countries including India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, commemorates the movement for women’s rights.
Through the project, the foundation aims to prioritize four main points – advancing gender equality, spreading digital financial inclusion, increasing job opportunities and supporting the agricultural sector and women’s support groups.
According to reports quoting Melinda Gates, co- chair, Bill & Melinda Foundation, taking control of the economic future is one of the best ways to make better living for a woman and her family. There will be development in terms of confidence and power when women have money and the rights to choose how to spend it which in turn will eventually take over the cliché, women are lesser than men, she said.
Reports added that by investing in this project the foundation would expand its previous financial commitments made to advance progress on gender equality. Its earlier investments on gender equality include US$ 80 million for gender data, advocacy and accountability. Out of which, US$ 20 million was dedicated to support women’s movements.
The data collected by the foundation shows a rise in national GDPs and break away of families from the cycle of poverty when women are employed and have the authority to participate in the formal economy. It also states that women are empowered past the economics when they have access and control over economic resources such as cash or mobile money, and their ability to take decisions which affects the future of the family and her.