A Conceptual Model of Women and Girls’ Empowerment (KIT & BMGF)

Broadly, this 2017 white paper by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) offers a conceptual model to “help better unpack the outcomes and processes of women and girls’ empowerment, and their feedback loops with other development outcomes. It is a lens to understand what change is needed and how it takes place. The model can be used to analyse contexts and to intentionally design interventions and approaches that can meaningfully facilitate and contribute to women and girls’ empowerment. It can also be used to inform monitoring and measurement, so interventions can flexibly adapt to setbacks and changing circumstances and push forward the process of empowerment.”

Specifically,  this white paper responds to the growing interest in gender equality by the BMGF, and aims:

  • To provide conceptual clarity on what empowerment of women and girls means for the foundation;
  • To provide a common language for the foundation, its staff and its grantees for use in their work on empowerment of women and girls; and
  • To stimulate ownership and buy-in of foundation staff at different levels.

This conceptual model builds on the case made for linking development outcomes and gender equality and women’s empowerment outcomes by applying a gender lens to explicitly identify and intentionally engage with gender inequalities.

This publication should be cited as:

Anouka van Eerdewijk, Franz Wong, Chloe Vaast, Julie Newton, Marcelo Tyszler & Amy Pennington (2017). White Paper: A Conceptual Model of Women and Girls’ Empowerment. Amsterdam: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).