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A Comprehensive Framework For Improving The Lives Of Women & Girls
Women and girls make up half of the world’s population. Given their roles as caregivers,
breadwinners, and de facto community leaders, it is not a surprise that strong data links improvements in
the lives of women to improvements in outcomes for families, communities, and global economies.
Yet, women around the world experience worse outcomes and have limited opportunities compared to men
in many areas of life. Improving women’s lives is therefore both a matter of social justice and smart investment for broad social impact.
There are a multitude of ways that donors can help to improve the lives of women and girls. But it can be a daunting task sifting through data and information to identify those efforts that have the greatest potential for social impact. The Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s mission is to use evidence-based analysis to identify the most promising solutions for addressing a social challenge and maximizing the social impact return of philanthropic funds. In this report, we provide a comprehensive framework for those interested in advancing the lives of women and girls.
To be sure, trying to improve the lives of half of the world’s population is a lofty task given the differences in the economic and social conditions of women around the globe. To rein in this enormous topic, our team examined dozens of research studies and related frameworks, sorting through the thousands of indicators that are being used by development institutions, policymakers, foundations, community agencies, and other stakeholders concerned about making a difference in the lives of women and girls. What emerged from the evidence was consensus around which indicators link to the greatest impact on the lives of women and girls globally, in five key areas: health, education, economic empowerment, personal safety, and legal rights.
We call these the “five dimensions of women’s lives.” They represent what we believe to be vital areas where funders can create positive change. For each dimension we highlight which indicators have both the deepest evidence base and the broadest consensus linking them to greater social impact for women and girls globally.