"The website that we developed in collaboration with Intentional Futures provides a highly useful repository of information for people working to advance gender equality and women's economic empowerment throughout the world." –Sarah Hendriks, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Eliminating gender inequality has long been a key concern at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a history of investing in family planning, maternal and child health, and other areas of critical importance to women and girls. We worked with the foundation to create an online resource for those working to increase gender equality by bolstering women’s economic empowerment.
The foundation’s first gender equality strategy, launched in 2017, came out of a multiyear investigation that amassed a wealth of material, ranging from literature reviews to case studies on specific interventions. Typically these findings would be kept in-house but the Gender Equality team wanted to share its learnings online as a way to contribute to this relatively new field. They contacted Intentional Futures for help with a new website.
Our work began with an assessment of whether such a website was needed. We spoke with researchers and practitioners in the United States and beyond in order to learn more about the resources they use in their work and what they wish was available online. We also examined a number of online resources related to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment to get a sense of how people currently get information on these issues. Our research affirmed that the team’s initial belief that the field would benefit from an online resource on women’s economic empowerment.
We reviewed hundreds of pages of Gates Foundation research and worked with the Gender Equality team to identify which content was best suited for the site. Using the team’s women’s economic empowerment framework to structure the information, we then designed the site to be informative, easy to navigate, and pleasant to use.
A primary goal of the Equal is Greater website was to increase awareness of the connection between gender inequality and women’s economic empowerment. To that end, the website provides detail on various factors that affect women’s economic empowerment, including uneven allocation of unpaid care work, limited access to education and healthcare, lack of political rights, difficulty finding decent work, and even restrictions on moving freely within their own communities. It also links users to scholarship and presents examples of promising interventions that could be adopted more broadly by communities working to end gender inequality throughout the world.