Can gender equality change the face of poverty?

  • January 11, 2018
Can gender equality change the face of poverty?

Director of Gender Equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver Gates Cambridge Annual Lecture

The Director of Gender Equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will deliver this year’s Gates Cambridge Annual Lecture on whether gender equality can change the face of poverty.

Sarah Hendriks will deliver the lecture entitled "What if…Gender equality could change the face of poverty?" on 13th February. It will explore the data and evidence behind the idea that gender equality and women's economic empowerment can help to lift poor households out of poverty.

Hendriks will argue that women who are economically empowered tend to have greater access to income and economic assets, better control over their own economic gains and more equitable decision-making power to translate these gains into social, economic and health benefits for themselves and their families. Hendriks will explore women’s economic empowerment in terms of both objective dimensions, measured by increases in productivity, income and assets, and subjective dimensions, measured by increases in agency and decision-making power.

She will also talk about the Foundation’s strategic work on gender in three areas: financial inclusion, land tenure security and women's self-help groups and how this can help to model what could happen if women were economically empowered.

Hendriks’ role at the Foundation involves working across the organisation and with  external partners to develop and drive a strategic vision on gender equality, build organisational commitment and establish technical processes that shape the foundation’s current and future work in the area.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as the Director of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion for Plan International. In this role, she was the lead gender advisor for a multi-year global research and policy report entitled ‘Because I am a Girl: the State of the World’s Girls’ and led the development of the ‘Global Girls Innovation Programme’, a $500 million portfolio of innovation and results-driven initiatives on adolescent girls.

Before Plan International, Hendriks worked with Women and the Law in Southern Africa [WLSA] in Malawi and has worked extensively as a gender equality consultant in areas such as gender-based violence, women's access to justice, HIV & AIDS and the design of gender equality strategies.

*The Annual Lecture takes place from 18:00 to 19:30 on 13th February in the Palmerston Room at St John's College. It is open to Gates Cambridge Scholars and their guests. To book your place, click here.

Latest News

Why AI needs to be inclusive

When Hannah Claus [2024] studied computer science at school she soon realised that she was in a room full of white boys, looking at posters of white men. “I could not see myself in that,” she says. “I realised there were no role models to follow and that I had to become that myself. There […]

New book deal for Gates Cambridge Scholar

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has signed a deal to write a book on Indigenous climate justice. The Longest Night will be published by Atria Books, part of Simon & Schuster, and was selected as the deal of the day by Publishers Marketplace earlier this week. Described as “a stunning exploration of the High North and […]

Why understanding risk for different populations can reduce cardiovascular deaths

The incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) – the number one cause of death globally – can be reduced significantly by understanding the risk faced by different populations better, according to a new study. Identifying individuals at high risk and intervening to reduce risk before an event occurs underpins the majority of national and international primary […]

How can we create a more tolerant world?

Three Gates Cambridge scholars debate how we can create a more tolerant world in the sixth episode* of the podcast So, now what?, launched today. Alina Utrata, José Izquierdo and Farhan Samanani explore the importance of face-to-face interactions, trust and cooperation in building tolerance. They also examine the role of technology and social media in […]