Foundation Center Focus on Education
Poverty - Women and Economic Development in Developing Countries

Women and Economic Development in Developing Countries


“In the poorest is women who are the key to breaking out of poverty...and preparing another generation for...leading their countries into real security.”
— Queen Noor of Jordan


Just 4% of foundation giving toward poverty in developing countries in 2007 targeted economic development programs for women


How can we help women and their families in developing countries work their way out of poverty?


Open new doors to financial services and property rights to foster entrepreneurship, economic activity, and job creation

Case Study

Rural Development Institute (RDI)
  • Works with governments and other partners in Africa and Asia to secure land rights for the rural poor, with a focus on women
  • In 2008 the Omidyar Network committed $4.3 million to RDI to expand land rights programs in Andhra Pradesh in India


  • 100 million+ families have received land rights in worldwide programs
  • 275 million acres of land have been secured for the world’s poor
  • Women are better able to provide food, shelter, and education for their families, breaking the cycle of generational poverty

Research Sources

Omidyar Network

Rural Development Institute

40 Years of Great Returns on Investment

Women and Land

Philanthropy News Digest

Rural Development Institute Receives $4.3 Million From Omidyar Network
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