The United State of Women: “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds”

Long treated as a “special interest,” women are increasingly recognized as the major driver of progress that benefits everyone. That’s my takeaway from last month’s White House Summit on the United State of Women, where the refrain from men as well as women, and across government, corporate and philanthropic sectors, was, “When women succeed, America

Marty Cordes: The Power of Investing in Women

It’s early on a Tuesday morning in rural Kenya, and Rose is helping her son and two daughters get ready for school. Soon she will join eight other women in her village to spend her day weaving intricate baskets committed for sale to a buyer in the U.S. and financed through a small microloan. She’ll

DoctHers: Pakistan’s ‘Doctor Brides’ Inspire Confidence — and Better Health — for Women

Women make up the majority of students pursuing medical careers in Pakistan. For years, a government-imposed quota mandated that 80 percent of the seats at medical schools go to men, 20 percent to women. In 1991, the Supreme Court ruled the quota unconstitutional. Now, more than 80 percent of Pakistan’s medical students are women, compared to

Every Day is International Women’s Day for Sustainable Development Goals

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the social, economic and political achievement of women, and pledge to take action to accelerate gender parity. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that supporting gender equality and the rights of women and girls is an important objective of international development. Development innovation can accelerate the attainment of the

Shared Interest: Loan Guarantees – and System-Change – for Women in South Africa

One of the most compelling aspects of gender lens investing is its potential to incorporate women and girls into systems that have excluded them – and to change those systems. To change them by applying values and practices women prioritize in order to build more just and inclusive societies. During the past 22 years, Shared

Unstranded Assets: Reaping an Economic Dividend From Women’s Equality

Impact investing is a disruptive innovation. It’s upending traditional investing, crashing through old assumptions about how investors determine risk and assess value. Take for example, the concept of “stranded assets.” These are assets which are losing economic value well ahead of their anticipated useful life due to changes in technology, regulations, legislation, societal norms, environmental

Test in Nicaragua Shifts Lending for Women-Led Businesses From Collateral to Cashflow

Over the next two years, the first 30 to 40 companies will receive five-year loans of $25,000 to $30,000 at an annual interest rate of 18 percent, including both program fees and interest. Typical loan recipients are women-led or women-owned small- to medium-sized enterprises with annual sales of $100,000 to $250,000. The goal of the