Women’s Fund $245,000 in grants, part of $29 Million collectively


Staff Report



On International Women’s Day 2017 Graduate Women International notes the extreme under representation of women in government and urges states, policy makers and communities to take action

Geneva, Switzerland, 8 March 2017 – International Women’s Day invites us to celebrate the achievements of women in all spheres of life but also to remind us that gender equality remains a significant human rights challenge for girls and women in today’s world.

On this occasion, Graduate Women International (GWI) calls for states, policy makers and communities to recognise the under representation of women in government and to take steps toward increasing representation by advancing political participation and developing leadership opportunities. According to UN Women, only 10 Heads of State and nine Heads of Government in the world are women and only two United Nations Member States enjoy female participation greater than 50% in their single or lower parliamentary houses - Rwanda with 63.8% and Bolivia with 53.1%. Globally, only 1 in 5 women is a parliamentarian.

The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) highlighted women in power and decision making as 1 of 12 critical areas and declared equal and active participation by women in government to be instrumental in obtaining equality, development and peace. Greater representation of women in government is necessary for promoting women’s interests, particularly gender-specific concerns relating to issues such as education, health and law. The under representation of women in government was again featured in the Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment agreed in September 2015. GWI urges states and institutions to observe Goal 5.5 which calls for countries to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.

Advancing political participation and developing leadership opportunities are crucial components in achieving GWI’s mission of empowering women and girls through lifelong education. Increasing the number of politically active women in governments worldwide will boost women’s influence and provide equal representation in political and decision-making processes, thereby ensuring that issues affecting women and girls will have input from them. Women and girls must be heard but first they need a voice.

GWI President, Geeta Desai, expresses concern over the fact that half of the world’s population is represented by only 22% of parliamentarians and urges states to end this political gender gap. She states, “There is mounting evidence that women in government prioritize gender equality and issue that predominantly impact women such as childcare, societal violence and lack of education more often than men do. If we are to improve the condition of women and girls it is imperative that many more women be included in all national legislative and policy-making processes”.

Graduate Women International (GWI) is a membership-based international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland, with presence in over 80 countries. Founded in 1919, GWI is the leading girls’ and women’s global organisation advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. GWI is in special consultative status with ECOSOC since 1947 and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO and ILO.

Women’s Fund part of collaborative committed to over $29 Million dollar increase for to women’s economic security

“The Women’s Fund is on the forefront of gender-based research looking at topics like Economic Self-Sufficiency, Leadership, and Lifeskills for Girls through a gender lens. We use the data to create shifts in social change, applying a gender lens, simply by asking the question: Does the issue affect women and girls differently? And if so, how? By asking this question to understand the problem, you may therein find a solution that benefits women and girls, but ultimately an entire community,” said Nichole Dunn, President & CEO of The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. “We need to not be afraid to learn what the realities are because when we do, we also find the solution.”

This year, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is investing $245,000 through local grant partners who will continue to move the needle for positive social change and gender equality. This is 15% more grant dollars funded than last year as we celebrate our fifteenth year of making grants. The 2017 Grant Partners are:

· Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus: Girls with Great Futures

· The Buckeye Ranch: Somali Teen Empowerment Project (STEP)

· CHAMPS: College and High School Aspiring Mothers’ Partnership for Success

· Columbus Early Learning Centers: Single, Working, and Nurturing Mothers (SWAN) Program

· Girls on the Run of Franklin County, Inc.: 2017 School Sites for Franklin County

· HelpLine of Delaware & Morrow Counties, Inc. & Youth to Youth International: Thank Goodness I’m Female: Path to Sustainability

· Innovation Ohio Education Fund: The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network (WPPN)

· John Glenn College of Public Affairs: NEW Leadership Ohio & Ready to Run

· League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund: Women’s Voices: Preparing the Next Gen of Women Leaders

· New Directions Career Center: New Directions and Career SOS Program for Women

· Otterbein University: The Women’s Leadership Network

· Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio: Peer Education Program

· Policy Matters Ohio: Improving Ohio’s Childcare Assistance

· TECH CORPS Ohio: Techie Camp: Girl Power

· US Together, Inc.: Empowering Economic Self-Sufficiency in Refugee Women

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is part of Prosperity Together, a collective effort of U.S. women’s foundations who pledged a $100 million commitment to women’s economic security over five years. This investment represents our local investment through the collective effort, which this past year exceeded the initial goal by 46% — $29 million dollars.

The Women’s Fund is a part of this collective with Economic Self-Sufficiency being the core of our work, supported by Lifeskills for Girls and Leadership for Women with the effects of Gender Norms underpinning all areas. As a leader of social change, we are committed to making data driven decisions through research, which shows that a woman’s economic security impacts the entire family and ripples into the community. Because of our Womenomics report we know that 1 in 4 women in central Ohio are not economically secure, they are not meeting their basic needs budget which includes housing, taxes, health care, child care, food, transportation, taxes, and other necessities. Also, women in central Ohio on average earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that women are not receiving equal pay for equal work. Progress has been made, and there’s still work to be done.

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Staff Report

On International Women’s Day 2017 Graduate Women International notes the extreme under representation of women in government and urges states, policy makers and communities to take action

Geneva, Switzerland, 8 March 2017 – International Women’s Day invites us to celebrate the achievements of women in all spheres of life but also to remind us that gender equality remains a significant human rights challenge for girls and women in today’s world.

On this occasion, Graduate Women International (GWI) calls for states, policy makers and communities to recognise the under representation of women in government and to take steps toward increasing representation by advancing political participation and developing leadership opportunities. According to UN Women, only 10 Heads of State and nine Heads of Government in the world are women and only two United Nations Member States enjoy female participation greater than 50% in their single or lower parliamentary houses – Rwanda with 63.8% and Bolivia with 53.1%. Globally, only 1 in 5 women is a parliamentarian.

The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) highlighted women in power and decision making as 1 of 12 critical areas and declared equal and active participation by women in government to be instrumental in obtaining equality, development and peace. Greater representation of women in government is necessary for promoting women’s interests, particularly gender-specific concerns relating to issues such as education, health and law. The under representation of women in government was again featured in the Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment agreed in September 2015. GWI urges states and institutions to observe Goal 5.5 which calls for countries to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.

Advancing political participation and developing leadership opportunities are crucial components in achieving GWI’s mission of empowering women and girls through lifelong education. Increasing the number of politically active women in governments worldwide will boost women’s influence and provide equal representation in political and decision-making processes, thereby ensuring that issues affecting women and girls will have input from them. Women and girls must be heard but first they need a voice.

GWI President, Geeta Desai, expresses concern over the fact that half of the world’s population is represented by only 22% of parliamentarians and urges states to end this political gender gap. She states, “There is mounting evidence that women in government prioritize gender equality and issue that predominantly impact women such as childcare, societal violence and lack of education more often than men do. If we are to improve the condition of women and girls it is imperative that many more women be included in all national legislative and policy-making processes”.

Graduate Women International (GWI) is a membership-based international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland, with presence in over 80 countries. Founded in 1919, GWI is the leading girls’ and women’s global organisation advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. GWI is in special consultative status with ECOSOC since 1947 and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO and ILO.

About Prosperity Together: Prosperity Together is the collective effort of women’s foundations to raise awareness of their role in improving the economic security of low-income women and their families. Prosperity Together envisions a future where women are economically secure. Children, families, and communities will thrive when we ensure access to childcare, education, and employment and earnings opportunities that promote pathways to good, stable jobs and leadership advancement. Prosperity Together formed in 2015 to ensure that all women and girls have access to the jobs, education, and family supports needed to be economically secure.

About Prosperity Together: Prosperity Together is the collective effort of women’s foundations to raise awareness of their role in improving the economic security of low-income women and their families. Prosperity Together envisions a future where women are economically secure. Children, families, and communities will thrive when we ensure access to childcare, education, and employment and earnings opportunities that promote pathways to good, stable jobs and leadership advancement. Prosperity Together formed in 2015 to ensure that all women and girls have access to the jobs, education, and family supports needed to be economically secure.