For the Greatest Social Return on Investment, Look to Women’s Health

By Meghan Ball, Associate Program Manager for Maverick Collective, PSI

The excerpt below originally appeared in Philanthropy Impact Magazine. To read the full article, click here.


Women and girls have finally arrived. After years in the making, women’s issues exploded onto the scene in 2016, inundating Twitter feeds, newspaper headlines and even presidential elections. Look no further than the UN’s inclusion of Gender Equality in the Sustainable Development Goals for proof that world governments are finally committing to the highest standards of equality. Sustainable change for girls and women is finally on the world’s agenda.

Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.” -Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing

Hillary Clinton’s now-ubiquitous declaration illustrates an important distinction: not only do violations committed against women and girls merit extra attention, but they also represent violations against all of humanity when we consider women’s integral role in the lives of their children and their community. By applying a gender lens to global challenges, we target the most strategic areas of growth – women and girls. According to a Harvard Business Review study, women in emerging markets reinvest 90% of every dollar earned into “human resources” – their families’ education, health and nutrition – compared to 30-40% by men. Investments into women have an exponential effect, bettering their own lives and those of their sons, husbands and fathers.

Maverick Collective is an initiative of PSI. Maverick Collective members partner on PSI programs to tackle critical challenges faced by women and girls through innovative projects to develop game-changing interventions, that government and businesses cannot advance on their own. Members are working shoulder to shoulder with a global community providing proof for solutions that radically impact the lives of girls and women in the most undeserved parts of the world.