In a recent article published by Quartz, Melinda Gates highlighted the important role women have to play by stating; “when money flows into the hands of women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.” She also revealed that the Gates Foundation are pledging $170 Million to help to empower women economically and encourage change. 

Melinda highlighted that research shows that economic power is the most promising entry point for gender equality and giving money to women who have the authority to use it changes everything. Women’s economic empowerment is key to gender equality and families benefit when women control household finances. Research shows that women are more likely than men to buy things that help their families out of poverty and spend it on nutritious food, health care and education. 

It was also acknowledged that when women have economic power communities and society begin to re-think the roles women play in society. 

“Women acting on their own can do what all the philanthropic organisations in the world can never accomplish: change the unwritten rule that women are lesser than men,” she wrote. “Our role, as we see it, is to make targeted investments that give women the opportunity to write new rules.”

The money will be spent over four years and will involve three main approaches. Firstly the foundation will support female farmers so that they call sell their products at competitive prices; secondly they will work in eight different countries including India, Pakistan and Tanzania, to promote women using digital bank accounts; and lastly they will facilitate self-help groups enabling women and girls to share information about a variety of topics from childbirth to business, helping to broaden horizons.