Be a Gender Transformative Donor

Be a Gender Transformative Donor

Chrysalis often talks about the importance of using a “gender lens” in decision-making. This is because often, girls and women are negatively and disproportionately affected by decisions that may seem “genderless.”

For example:

  • Two-thirds of adults unable to read across the globe are women.
  • An estimated 80% of the 20 million people displaced annually by climate change each year are women.
  • Women spend 25% percent more time in poor health when compared to men* and are often excluded from clinical trials focusing on heart disease, cancer, and mental health.
  • Women are the most rapidly growing population of incarcerated people in the United States (60% have children under age 18).

These are just a few examples of the disparities faced by girls and women in today’s world – disparities that remain unacknowledged in policy and funding decisions. And with donors across the globe giving only 1.8% of charitable gifts (2020) to organizations serving girls and women, we can see the disparity.

It’s up to us to remind both donors and decision-makers how to discern the true effects of their giving, and if they are interested in helping girls and women, here are some tips:

  • On any issue, understand if, how, and why outcomes of work may vary by gender.
  • Examine solutions with a clear perspective on whether or not they will work for women, girls, and gender-expansive people (defined as people who challenge societal expectations of gender roles, identities, or norms, according to NPR).
  • Work against the root causes of gender inequities, such as social norms, policies, and practices that may impair women’s progress.
  • Approach decisions in ways that acknowledge various lived experiences.
  • Utilize the knowledge, leadership, and genius of women.

*The McKinsey Health Institute estimates that nearly of women’s health burden results from issues that disproportionately affect the, such as headache conditions, autoimmune disorders, and depression. And more than half of women experience this burden during their working years. (Closing the women’s health gap: A $1 trillion opportunity to improve lives and economies, McKinsey Health Institute, January 17, 2024.)

An excellent report by the Bridgespan Group, Illuminating Impact: Why Gender Matters for Funders in Any Issue Area, further explores how funders and philanthropists can analyze their giving in in order to have the greatest impact on girls and women.

This table below provides definitions and examples for how gender inequities can be tackled through education.

Chrysalis strives to be gender transformative funders, and our advocacy work will continue to deliver messages to make change.