Lisa Smith

On International Women’s Day, Highlighting Ideas and Action

On International Women’s Day, many organizations take an opportunity to recognize women for a variety of reasons, be it from political, human rights, social, and a host of other vantage points. Here at NextBillion, we have collected a few examples of women and their important role within the realm of social enterprise to highlight today. Two announcements particularly relevant to the NextBillion audience include the Calvert Foundation’s new campaign (with support from Citi Foundation) to advance women’s economic empowerment globally and the Women Deliver list of the top 50 ideas and solutions for improving girls and women’s lives worldwide.

The Calvert Foundation and Citi Foundation Women INvesting in Women INitiative (WIN-WIN) campaign for investment in women’s small businesses and critical services provides new, exciting ideas for building financially secure and prosperous futures for women internationally. Likewise, while we cover a many women’s related development stories on NextBillion, Women Deliver has compiled a new list of solutions (to accompany their 100 leaders from last year’s International Women’s Day) that we can rally around. The models span five categories including advocacy and awareness campaigns, educational initiatives, health interventions, leadership and empowerment, and technologies and innovations.

Read more below regarding both organizations’ announcement details after the jump.

All this week, Link TV has celebrated International Women’s Day by showcasing the trials and the triumphs of women around the world with a series of videos. These video documentaries from acclaimed filmmakers focus on issues ranging from maternal health to education to equal rights raise awareness on the oppression and discrimination of women. But the series shares little-known stories of women overcoming social and economic barriers. You may see all of the featured videos here and we’re embedding one in the series below, he TED Talk by Sheryl WuDunn, co-author Half the Sky.

Calvert Foundation, with Grant Support from the Citi Foundation, Launches Groundbreaking $20 Million Campaign to Advance Women’s Economic Empowerment Globally

Calvert Foundation today announced the launch of the Women INvesting in Women INitiative (WIN-WIN), which will invest at least $20 million in high-impact organizations and projects worldwide that create opportunities for women lacking access to traditional credit and funding sources. A $1 million grant from the Citi Foundation will allow Calvert Foundation to efficiently deploy these funds to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and community development financial institutions that are investing in women-focused small businesses and critical services impacting low-income women and their families. The funding will make it possible for borrowers to build small businesses, improve their living conditions, and invest in education and childcare in order to build more secure and prosperous futures.

WIN-WIN will be led by Calvert Foundation, an internationally recognized nonprofit that has nearly $200 million invested in 250 community organizations, in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Calvert Foundation is capitalizing the initiative with donations as well as investments raised from the private sector.

WIN-WIN also makes use of a strategy to not only leverage private sector capital to improve the lives of women, but also seeks to mobilize women investors as lead providers of capital to the fund. Women comprise nearly half of the US’s top wealth holders and control $20 trillion in spending globally. WIN-WIN specifically seeks to attract women’s investment capital and its huge potential to transform the lives of women around the world.

“Women Deliver 50” List Spotlights Ideas and Solutions Improving the Lives of Girls and Women Worldwide

Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for improved health and well being for girls and women. Launched in 2007, Women Deliver works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal #5 — to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Building from the groundbreaking conferences Women Deliver convened in 2007 and 2010, Women Deliver harnesses commitments, partnerships, and networks to help prevent the approximately 350,000 deaths of girls and women from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes that occur every year. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development.

Today, Women Deliver announced the “Women Deliver 50,” a compilation of the 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions that are delivering for girls and women across the globe. After hundreds of online nominations from 103 countries, a selection committee chose 125 finalists to be voted on by the public. More than 6,000 individuals participated in the online voting.

“The solutions on this list show that with ingenuity, drive and dedication, we can build a better world for girls and women,” said Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver Founder and President. “We are proud to celebrate these organizations and programs, which are pioneering real, lasting, social change at the local and global levels. We have seen time and time again that when we invest in girls and women, entire societies benefit.” The “Women Deliver 50” list showcases advocacy campaigns; health interventions; technologies; educational initiatives and leadership programs. The initiatives, which range from grassroots to global, are led by social entrepreneurs, civil society, governments, international agencies and private companies.

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