schulze3_Jonathan Torgovnik for The Hewlett FoundationReportage by Getty Images_africasexed Jonathan Torgovnik for The Hewlett Foundation/Reportage by Getty Images

Investing in Gender Equality

By following a feminist development model, the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents has accelerated progress toward gender parity. An increase in funding for the GFF would lead to more programs and policies that empower women and girls to make autonomous decisions about their own bodies and their lives.

BERLIN/LILONGWE – Despite coming from vastly different beginnings – one of us comes from a fishing district in Malawi with one of the country’s highest adolescent pregnancy rates, the other grew up in West Germany during the height of the women’s movement – we have both seen the transformative impact of empowering women and girls. What also unites us is the same sense of urgency for more to be done – faster and at a bigger scale.

During the first 20 years of this century, progress toward equality was occurring, albeit not fast enough. But progress has stalled in recent years, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and inflation.

Now is the time to regain momentum. One way is through “feminist development policy” – a concept that at its core has a simple idea: Women and girls comprise half the population; they should have an equal share of the power and the same rights, resources, and representation as men enjoy.