Press release: Global Fund for Widows' mission aligns well with Melinda French Gates' Call for Women's Economic Power

Global Fund for Widows' mission aligns well with Melinda French Gates' Call for Women's Economic Power

Washington, DC (22 August 2023) – The Global Fund for Widows (GFW) has been dedicated to empowering widows and female-headed households worldwide by promoting financial independence and economic empowerment. Throughout its journey, the GFW has established nearly 200 microbanks and has helped over 100,000 beneficiaries achieve economic empowerment. The efforts of GFW resonate with the article by Melinda French Gates, "How Leaders Can Boost Women's Economic Power," published by the Gates Foundation.

In her groundbreaking article, Melinda French Gates passionately argues for the urgent need for global leaders to support women's economic empowerment. She emphasizes that women play a pivotal role in the world economy and that concerted efforts are necessary to uplift them economically. Her words serve as an inspiration to organizations like ours and countless women who continue to face the challenges of widowhood while striving to secure a sustainable future for themselves and their dependents.

GFW is dedicated to turning this vision into a reality. We understand that widows, who are systematically and structurally marginalized and neglected, experience distinct challenges when it comes to achieving financial independence. Widows from all over the world are strong-willed and possess significant untapped potential, but they require more resources and opportunities to utilize their capabilities fully.

GFW has taken several initiatives to empower widows and ensure they have access to capital, entrepreneurial skills, legal education, financial services, and health and wellness opportunities. Our vision includes several critical elements, such as the Widows' Savings and LoanAssociation (WISALA) Program, which provides widows with financial capital, mentorship, and training to start and grow their businesses. Furthermore, we partner with local legal institutions to promote legal rights literacy among widows. We also collaborate with governments, global and local NGOs, and the private sector to raise awareness about widows' challenges and advocate for policy changes that protect their rights.

Dr. Nagesh N Borse, the Executive Director, fully supports Gates' effort to empower women globally. He strongly believes that when women’s financial status improves, so does their family's welfare, thus resulting in better development outcomes for communities and nations. We are thrilled to work under the leadership of Melinda French Gates with the Gates Foundation, who share our commitment to amplifying the economic power of women globally. Through innovative programs and partnerships, we aim to uplift the most vulnerable women and contribute to the broader goal of women's economic empowerment. We are grateful to the Gates Foundation for their continued leadership in championing women's rights and economic power and look forward to working together to create a brighter future for widows worldwide.


Contact: Dr. Nagesh Borse, Executive Director, Global Fund for Widows, Washington, DC or Cell: +1 202-802-1290

About Global Fund for Widows:

The Global Fund for Widows is the world’s largest non-profit organization economically empowering widows in the developing world. We do this by building our financial inclusion innovation of the Widows’Savings and Loan Associations, or “micro-banks,” which provide them with a permanent source of capital to launch micro-businesses. Thus far, we have built 185 banks worldwide, empowered 26,000 widows, and helped 64,000 of their children across Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon, Malawi, and India.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected widows around the world. To accommodate alarms of hunger emanating from global lockdowns, the Global Fund for Widows pivoted from building banks for widows to feeding the hungry and starting small income-generating businesses. In the last few months, we are proud to have offered widows with 6.5 million meals and launched 400 micro-enterprises.

Global Fund for Widows uses its success to advocate for widows at the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Security Council, United Nations Human Rights Council, US Congress, the UK House of Commons, and the UK House of Lords. 

For more information on the Global Fund for Widows and to get involved, please visit or contact

Media Contact: Dr. Nagesh Borse, Executive Director Nagesh.Borse@GlobalFundForWidows.Org or 202-8021290


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