International Women’s Day, Consider the Facts

At the beginning of this second century of International Women’s Day, there are nearly 3 billion adults who, through no fault of their own, are unbanked or under-banked. The majority are women. Without access to resources to attend school or start or grow a business, her potential and dreams are far too often wasted.

The consequences of these lost opportunities are profound:
  • More than one billion people live in extreme poverty, 75% of them are women and girls.
  • Seventy-six million primary school age children are not in school, 60% are girls.
  • There are 876 million illiterate adults in the developing world, more than 65% are women.
  • Women produce half of the world’s food, but own only one percent of the world’s farmland.

Although women are the most marginalized by poverty, experience has demonstrated that they are also an excellent investment to realize the vision of sustainable change. When women have the resources to fully participate in their economies, the economic performance of communities, nations and the world are elevated.

  • Research shows that when a woman is able to contribute to her family’s income, at least 80% of her contribution goes toward creating a better future for herself, her children, and her community.
  • Closing the resource gap for women working in agriculture would feed another 150 million people worldwide every year.
  • Just one additional year of education for a girl yields a 20% increase in her future earning potential. A child born to a woman who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.
Women’s economic participation results in:  higher family incomes, greater health outcomes, increased educational opportunities, stronger economies, and increased political stability. 

Note: The full "International Women's Day In the Participation Age" press release can be found at, Women entrepreneur profiles can be found at Media contact: Jason Riggs at