We created this website to share the research and analyses that underpin our global framework on women's economic empowerment. While far from exhaustive, the materials presented here provide a window into our strategy development process at a particular point in time. We hope that the contents of these pages will inspire conversations and actions to advance women’s economic empowerment in every corner of the globe.
© Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Prashant Panjiar | Women from various self-help groups in Jharkhand, India | 2015
The Gender Equality team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works across foundation program teams and with external partners in the field to accelerate progress toward gender equality.

While gender has always been at the heart of the foundation’s work (as evidenced by past investments in areas such as family planning; maternal, newborn, and child health; and nutrition), in 2017 the foundation approved its first strategy focused explicitly on advancing gender equality.

To determine the right approach for the foundation, we interviewed experts and analyzed evidence and data from nearly 100 countries. Our research and conversations explored the interplay between women’s economic empowerment and gender equality and highlighted the many barriers to economic empowerment faced by women and girls throughout the world. These findings led us to focus on women's economic empowerment, which has far-reaching positive effects on the lives of women and girls as well as the economy and society more broadly.

Learn more about our work.

We’re grateful to our many partners, grantees, and expert advisors who played a vital role in collecting evidence and research for this work. A special thanks goes to our colleagues at McKinsey & Company for their partnership in helping develop the foundation’s global framework on women’s economic empowerment. We’d also like to thank Intentional Futures for their content strategy and design leadership on this project.