The case for investing with a gender lens

Andrew Milner

Gender lens investing – the deployment of all forms of capital from philanthropic to public – to further the cause of women’s empowerment and the pursuit of their rights is not just good for women, it may turn out to be good for all of us

The recent Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) online conference turned the spotlight on gender lens investing (GLI), a practice becoming increasingly prominent. And it needs to. Women’s rights and their participation in society and the economy still lag behind, especially in developing countries. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic threatens not only to slow their progress, it may even send them into decline. That being the case, the need for increased adoption of GLI has never been more urgent.

The case for

The virtues of supporting women’s empowerment have long been attested, not only as a matter of principle but of practice. A recent McKinsey report noted that if every country were to emulate the fastest improving countries in terms of gender equality in their region, $12 trillion (around 11 per cent) would be added in annual GDP by 2025. Moreover, the report estimates that if women played an identical role to men in the labour market, global GDP would grow by 26.5 per cent.

 
Next Special feature to read

Entering the funding arena

Halima Mahomed, Graciela Hopstein and Romy Krämer