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Healthy Women, Healthy Economies

Healthy Women, Healthy Economies (HWHE) is GBCHealth’s platform for accelerating corporate action to improve the health, well-being and opportunity of women and girls.

HWHE offers companies educational tools, practical information and knowledge sharing opportunities around issues facing women and girls to catalyze corporate activity and increase the private sector’s efficiency and collective impact. Company engagements -- ranging from workplace health programs and employee volunteer campaigns to regional awareness-building and advocacy -- benefit businesses, families and communities.

The areas of intervention that impact business - and that the corporate community is uniquely equipped to advance - are primarily concentrated within four main "pillars":

  • Health, including maternal and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT)
  • Education, primarily keeping girls in school, increasing health awareness and building job readiness
  • Economic Empowerment, emphasizing access to the training and resources needed to increase financial independence
  • Rights and Inclusion, such as gender-based violence and engaging men and boys

Within each pillar, there are multiple critical issues to address in order to advance the status of women and girls:

Businesses address the challenges faced by women and girls through several types of corporate engagement: leveraging the assets of their workplace, core competency, or employee base; investing in community efforts or actively advocating to reduce gender gaps; or earmarking contributions specifically for women-focused programs. Programs may fall into one intervention area or across multiple pillars.

Read about GBCHealth members' Corporate Engagement in Women and Girls.

Click to see Tools and Resources for more information on women and girls.

Contact Joya Banerjee to learn more about Healthy Women, Healthy Economies.

Challenges for Women and Girls
Women and girls bear a disproportionate share of the health and economic burdens around the world. For example:  

  • Women make up 70 percent of the world’s poor. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, but receive only 11 percent of the world’s income, and own only 1 percent of the world’s land.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women account for 60 percent of people living with HIV, and 75 percent of HIV-infected youth are girls.
  • Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 19 in low-resource settings. And girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die while giving birth than women in their 20s.
  • Ninety percent of maternal deaths could be prevented with proven, low-cost solutions, but the global community has not prioritized getting these interventions in place. Pregnancy-related deaths of women and newborns are estimated to cost the world at least US$ 15 billion in lost productivity every year.
  • Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls. Girls represent nearly 60 percent of children not in school.
  • Women make up 66 percent of the world’s illiterate adults and head 83 percent of single-parent families.
  • In Latin America, the social costs of girls dropping out of school—teenage pregnancy, unemployment, increased health risk to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases —result in 2 percent of lost GDP annually.
  • Gender-based violence kills one in three women and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war. Three out of four fatalities of war are women and children.

Tools and Resources (check back regularly for additional resources)

Health:

Education:

Economic Empowerment:

Rights & Inclusion:

Impact on Business

USA Today/Media Planet: Investing in Women and Girls