To Make Life Better For Women And Make The World Better For All
In Wisconsin and around the world, women experience challenges to their health and wellbeing that are rooted in underlying inequalities related to gender, race, poverty, and other factors.
• 222 million women and girls do not have access to family planning. In Wisconsin, high racial disparities in infant mortality rates show that better access to quality healthcare is needed for all women and children.
• Women experience a 23% pay gap around the world, and 49% percent of women are in vulnerable or informal employment. In Wisconsin, women earn only 78% of what men in equivalent roles earn.
• Globally, over 31 million girls do not have access to primary school. Research in the U.S. shows that when women attain higher education, they are disproportionately impacted by sexual harassment and assault, which impact educational success and professional development.
• The effects of natural disasters, humanitarian crises, forced migration, pollution, scarcity of food and water, and climate change disproportionately impact women.
• Only 22.8% of national legislative seats around the world were held by women in 2016. In the Wisconsin legislature, this ratio is only 23.5%. Among the top 500 companies in the S&P 500, only 24 had women CEOs in 2015.
Women’s underrepresentation is a missed opportunity in leadership for preserving the environment, building peace, and creating sustainable communities.
The 4W Response: The Special Role of Higher Education
Higher education has a unique role to play in making life better for women. Since 2014, the 4W Initiative has established UW-Madison as a leading voice in gender and wellbeing. 4W provides a collaborative, interdisciplinary space for networking, leadership development, innovation, and project development and implementation.
We believe that every woman has a right to be free from unjust suffering, to have basic needs met, and to thrive. Our major impacts are in three areas: Programs, Platforms, and People.
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
4W Programs: Taking Research to Practice and Practice to Scale
4W Platforms: Bringing People Together Around Pressing Issues Related to Gender and Wellbeing
4W People: Cultivating Leadership
The 4W Initiative is grounded in human rights principles. This means working toward equal rights for women and girls as an end in itself, while also recognizing the important role that women play in sustaining families, communities, civil society, local and global economies and our earth. 4W values build on each other, beginning with basic needs and freedom from harm, and moving toward full agency and global leadership.
4W activities will incorporate the following core principles:
- Basic needs and human rights;
- Equality for women;
- Leadership; and
- Fully inclusive sustainable communities.