Why Women & Girls?

We are at an interesting moment in our history as it relates to women and girls. On the one hand, women continue to be more economically disadvantaged, experience much more violence, earn less and are dramatically underrepresented in positions of leadership across all sectors. On the other hand, now more then ever women control the purse strings in terms of purchasing power, are increasingly the holders of wealth, are outperforming educationally in the western world and are starting and growing businesses at a much faster rate than men.

Women Moving Millions is about recognizing the need, and acting upon the opportunity. We have so many resources we can mobilize in support of women and girls around the world including our purchasing power, our investment dollars, our charitable giving, our voice, our influence, and more. Let’s do it.


  • Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, yet earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property.
  • According to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime.
  • In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds.
  • Women and girls suffer disproportionally from the burden of extreme poverty- they make up 70% of the 1 billion people living on less than a dollar a day.
  • In Ecuador, adolescent girls reporting sexual violence in school identified teachers as the perpetrator in 37% of cases.
  • In 2010 the arrest rate for rape in the US was 24%, which was exactly what it was in the late 1970s.
  • Women and girls comprise 80% of the estimated 800,000 people globally trafficked annually, with the majority (79%) trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • According to UN estimates, about 2.5 million people from 127 countries have been trafficked to 137 countries for purposes such as forced labor, sexual exploitation, the removal of organs and body parts, forced marriages, child adoption and begging.
  • The domestic violence stats for just one day in the United States are frightening. The national network did a statistical snapshot for domestic violence in just one day — Sept. 15, 2011. On that Thursday, 67,399 women and children reported domestic violence, including 614 in the District, 866 in Maryland and 1,304 in Virginia.
  • In the United States women are more than half of the population…but make up only 17% of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • While women comprise 51% of the population, they make up only 15.7% of Fortune 500 boards of directors, less than 10% of California tech company boards, and 9.1% of Silicon Valley boards.
  • Only 7% of Hollywood Directors are women.
  • Nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became law, American women working full-time are paid just 77 cents to the dollar compared to their male counterparts.
  • 1 woman dies in childbirth for every 100,000 live births in Ireland. 2,100 women die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births in Sierra Leone.
  • Nearly one in five women in the US is now living without health insurance. The percentage of women aged 18 to 64 who don’t have health insurance increased from 19.2% in 2009 to 19.7% in 2010—the highest rate recorded in more than a decade.
  • While women comprise 51% of the population, they make up less than 16% of Fortune 500 Board Directors.
  • The poverty rate among women in the US increased to 14.5% in 2010, up from 13.9% in 2009—the highest rate in 17 years. The “extreme poverty rate” among women was the highest ever recorded, climbing to 6.3% in 2010 from 5.9% in 2009.


  • Globally, women control nearly US$12 trillion of the overall US$18.4 trillion in consumer discretionary spending. In the next five years, women will control US$15 trillion. By 2028, they will control nearly 75% of consumer discretionary spending worldwide.
  • In nearly 90% of high net worth households in the US, women are either the sole decision-maker or an equal partner in decisions about charitable giving.
  • Women accounted for 27% of the global High Net Worth Individuals population in 2010, up from 24% in 2008.
  • A report issued by Goldman Sachs JBWere Investment Research focused on the impact of closing the female-male employment gap on Australia’s GDP. It is estimated that closing this gap would boost the level of Australian GDP by 11%. In terms of other nations, the analysis suggests that US GDP could be increased by as much as 10%, the Eurozone by 14%, Italy by 24%, Germany by 12%, France by 11%, the UK by 11% and Japan by 21%.
  • Women now Account for 21.7% of directors serving on the boards of the largest banks in Europe. Compared to financial institutions in the Americas averaging 16.7% and those in Asia-Pacific at only 10.9%.
  • Women currently earn an estimated $13 trillion globally- total yearly earnings could reach $18 trillion by 2014.
  • According to the World Bank estimates, women own or operate between 25-33% of all private businesses globally.
  • Across Europe, the proportion of women on the boards of the top 300 companies grew to 12% in 2010 from 8% in 2004, an October 2010 report by the European Professional Women’s Network shows. At this rate, gender parity would be reached in 16 years, the report said.
  • 58% of college undergraduates in the US are women, with some campuses at 70%.
  • Statistics show that in countries where more women are in political office, there is less corruption, even in countries with the same income, civil liberties, education, and legal institutions.
  • According to World Bank estimates, women own or operate between 25-33% of all private businesses globally.
  • In the United States women are more likely than men to graduate from college, are running more than 10 million businesses with combined annual sales of $1.1 trillion, and are responsible for making 80% of consumer buying decisions.
  • Women own 40% of businesses in the US and growing at a rate of 2x faster than businesses as a whole- these 8 million women-owned enterprises have an annual economic impact of nearly $3 trillion.
  • The number of women participating in the work force went from about 41% to 56% over a 40-year period. If they didn’t join the work force, that would have been a 25% hit to US GDP.
  • Due to the wage gap, full-time working women in New York collectively lose more than $22,340,000,000 each year. If the wage gap is closed, working women in New York and their families would have enough money for more than a year’s worth of food; 4.4 months of mortgage and utility payments; 9 additional months of rent; 3 extra years of family health insurance premiums; or more than 2,000 gallons of gas.