The XX Factor

The XX Factor

A Comprehensive Framework for Improving the Lives of Women and Girls

Globally, one of the most powerful ways to create social impact is to improve the lives of women and girls. But what does it mean to ‘improve the lives of women and girls’ and how can you know whether you’re really making a difference? To answer these questions, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP), with the generous support of the Tara Health Foundation, created The XX Factor, the first comprehensive, evidence-based framework to guide efforts in this space. The framework identifies the five dimensions of a woman’s life that are critical to her flourishing, the consensus outcome measures that mark progress in women’s lives, and the evidence-based strategies that work to improve those measures. For anyone seeking to improve the lives of women and girls, this is where to start.

As featured in Forbes, “How to Put Your Money Where Your Feminism Is.”

News on the XX Factor

On May 16, Kat will keynote a talk with women philanthropists at Philanthropy Delaware.

CHIP published Using Better Data to Align Investments to Improve the Lives of Women and Girls on the As You Sow website April 8.

XX Factor team member Neha Butala joined the philanthropy and nonprofit panel for the Penn OWN IT conference on women’s empowerment.

On January 29, Kat keynoted a gender lens speaking event at Impact100 Richmond.

On January 28, Kat joined a panel discussion for an invitation-only audience of 100+ Philadelphia area funders and financial advisers on How to Positively Impact the Future for Women and Girls. New full-color postcards with QR codes were printed and distributed and fellow panelists included Angela Sun (who developed the Bloomberg Gender Index) and Angelica Fuentes (whose Latin American-focused framework aligns with the XX Factor).

Ruth Shaber, founder of Tara Health Foundation, was profiled in January 8 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, along with discussion of the XX Factor work funded by Tara Health.

On November 16,  Kat keynoted and then joined a panel discussion at Glenmede’s 350-person Funding the Future: Investing in Women conference in Cleveland.

On November 13, CHIP joined other partners in the launch of As You Sow’s Gender Equality Funds tool. As You Sow was one of the intermediaries listed as a resource in the Guidebook.

On November 1 & 2, copies of the guide were available, and marketing postcards were provided to the 300+ participants of the Gender-Smart Investing Summit on November 1 and 2 in London, UK, hosted by Suzanne Biegel.

The opening plenary at the annual Women’s Collective Giving Grantmaking Network (WCGN) We the Women Conference on October 22 featured the original XX Factor Framework and the XX Factor Guidebook were on tables, and all 350 attendees had marketing postcards with QR codes in their gift bags.

The XX Factor Guidebook was linked and featured in the October newsletters of ImpactPHL Digest and The Impactivate Newsletter.

Keynote and preview to 45 VIP clients at  Pax Ellevate’s 2ndAnnual Invest in Women Symposium this summer.

CHIP consulted with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and OxFam on adapting the original XX Factor Framework to their work supporting social enterprises in Southeast Asia.

Key Indicators and Determinants of Progress

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Years of Life Lost (premature death measure)
  • Years Lived with Disability (disease & disability measure)
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (female-specific health measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Nutrition (Body mass index, Low Birth Weight)
  • Water & Sanitation (access to safe and clean drinking water, access to safe method of human feces removal)
  • Mental illness (self-reported prevalence rates, numbers of people seeking help)

Specific to Maternal Mortality Ratio:

  • Access to contraceptives (percentage of women of reproductive age who have an unmet need for family planning)
  • Presence of a skilled attendant at birth
HEALTH

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Years of Life Lost (premature death measure)
  • Years Lived with Disability (disease & disability measure)
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (female-specific health measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Nutrition (Body mass index, Low Birth Weight)
  • Water & Sanitation (access to safe and clean drinking water, access to safe method of human feces removal)
  • Mental illness (self-reported prevalence rates, numbers of people seeking help)

Specific to Maternal Mortality Ratio:

  • Access to contraceptives (percentage of women of reproductive age who have an unmet need for family planning)
  • Presence of a skilled attendant at birth
EDUCATION

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Enrollment rates (educational access measure)
  • Completion rates (educational attainment measure)
  • Literacy rates (educational achievement measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Compulsory & tuition-free education (generally measured by presence of country-level policy)
  • Living in poverty (most commonly defined globally as living with $1.90 or less per day of purchasing power)
  • School environment (school infrastructure and resources, geographic distance from school, water and sanitation)
  • Health (rates of infectious disease, malnutrition, rates of teen pregnancy)
  • Cultural norms (attitudes toward child marriage and overall gender roles)
  • Safety (country conflict, violence at home, violence in school)
EDUCATION

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Enrollment rates (educational access measure)
  • Completion rates (educational attainment measure)
  • Literacy rates (educational achievement measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Compulsory & tuition-free education (generally measured by presence of country-level policy)
  • Living in poverty (most commonly defined globally as living with $1.90 or less per day of purchasing power)
  • School environment (school infrastructure and resources, geographic distance from school, water and sanitation)
  • Health (rates of infectious disease, malnutrition, rates of teen pregnancy)
  • Cultural norms (attitudes toward child marriage and overall gender roles)
  • Safety (country conflict, violence at home, violence in school)
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Household wealth (economic status measure)
  • Control over household spending (economic agency measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Female labor force participation (percentage of population that is working or actively seeking work)
  • Access to finance (having an account at a financial institution, having access to credit)
  • Access to internet & mobile phones (owning or borrowing a mobile phone, internet use)
  • Educational attainment (the highest level of school an individual has completed)
  • Marriage/reproductive health agency (ability to decide when and whom to marry, when and how many children to have, and whether or not to leave a marriage)
  • Property rights (ability to own land and other assets, such as livestock or small farm equipment)
  • Equitable work-related policies & practices (equal pay for equal work, paid maternity leave, freedom from discriminatory labor laws)
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Household wealth (economic status measure)
  • Control over household spending (economic agency measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Female labor force participation (percentage of population that is working or actively seeking work)
  • Access to finance (having an account at a financial institution, having access to credit)
  • Access to internet & mobile phones (owning or borrowing a mobile phone, internet use)
  • Educational attainment (the highest level of school an individual has completed)
  • Marriage/reproductive health agency (ability to decide when and whom to marry, when and how many children to have, and whether or not to leave a marriage)
  • Property rights (ability to own land and other assets, such as livestock or small farm equipment)
  • Equitable work-related policies & practices (equal pay for equal work, paid maternity leave, freedom from discriminatory labor laws)
PERSONAL SAFETY

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Proportion of women subjected to physical and/ or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner, in the last 12 months (intimate partner violence measure)
  • Proportion of women subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner, since age 15 (non-partner sexual violence measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Educational attainment (the highest level of school an individual has completed)
  • Child marriage (large age difference between child bride and husband as an important risk factor)
  • Living in poverty (most commonly defined globally as living with $1.90 or less per day of purchasing power9)
  • Attitudes toward women in a society (particularly around the use of violence against women)
  • Economic opportunity for women (see economic empowerment measures above)
PERSONAL SAFETY

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Proportion of women subjected to physical and/ or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner, in the last 12 months (intimate partner violence measure)
  • Proportion of women subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner, since age 15 (non-partner sexual violence measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Educational attainment (the highest level of school an individual has completed)
  • Child marriage (large age difference between child bride and husband as an important risk factor)
  • Living in poverty (most commonly defined globally as living with $1.90 or less per day of purchasing power9)
  • Attitudes toward women in a society (particularly around the use of violence against women)
  • Economic opportunity for women (see economic empowerment measures above)
LEGAL RIGHTS

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Percentage of women in national parliament (governance rights measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Improved educational and economic opportunities for women (influenced by the determinants in the education and economic empowerment sections above)
  • Presence of a female political quota (mandatory or voluntary)

Our five dimensions are interconnected. This is particularly evident when you look at legal rights for women. To the right, we recap the legal rights that link to positive outcomes in each of the other four dimensions above. In fact, many of these rights affect outcomes across multiple dimensions, as highlighted in our “Ten Best Bets” – see page 11 of the full PDF report.

  • Health: reproductive rights (access to safe, effective, and affordable methods of fertility regulation, and access to healthcare services during pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Education: compulsory and tuition-free education policy
  • Economic empowerment: property rights & equitable work-related policies & practices
  • Personal safety: protection from child marriage
LEGAL RIGHTS

Overall Outcome Measures

  • Percentage of women in national parliament (governance rights measure)

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Improved educational and economic opportunities for women (influenced by the determinants in the education and economic empowerment sections above)
  • Presence of a female political quota (mandatory or voluntary)

Overall Outcome Measures

Our five dimensions are interconnected. This is particularly evident when you look at legal rights for women. Below, we recap the legal rights that link to positive outcomes in each of the other four dimensions above. In fact, many of these rights affect outcomes across multiple dimensions, as highlighted in our “Ten Best Bets” – see page 11 of the full PDF report.

Determinants of Those Outcomes (and associated measures)

  • Health: reproductive rights (access to safe, effective, and affordable methods of fertility regulation, and access to healthcare services during pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Education: compulsory and tuition-free education policy
  • Economic empowerment: property rights & equitable work-related policies & practices
  • Personal safety: protection from child marriage

10 Best Bets for Funders

1

Educational attainment: significantly affects health outcomes, likelihood of being the victim of intimate partner violence, and economic opportunity.

2

Protection from child marriage: significantly affects economic and educational opportunity, as well as likelihood of being the victim of intimate partner violence, and increases the risks associated with too-early sexual activity and pregnancy (e.g., pregnancy-related complications and HIV infection).

3

Access to nutritious food: a major determinant of disease worldwide, as well as a driver of school attendance and performance.

4

Access to clean water and sanitation: significantly affects health outcomes and also impacts educational attainment. Additionally, lack of access to water and sanitation can increase the risk of violence to women, who are exposed to various physical and sexual threats while fetching water or using latrines.

5

Access to contraceptives and family planning: impacts women’s health outcomes (especially reproductive health and maternal mortality ratios) and economic opportunity. Also represents an important women’s rights issue.

6

Labor force participation: a major driver of income generation and economic agency, with significant links to decreased risk of intimate partner violence.

7

Access to finance: personal savings and credit are major drivers of economic agency, which is linked with decreased risk of intimate partner violence, the most common form of violence against women.

8

Access to internet/technology: has a significant impact on women’s access to finance and income-earning opportunities, as well as on health (e.g., access to health information) and is often considered a women’s rights issue.

9

Property rights: a significant women’s rights issue and important determinant of women’s economic success and agency. Property rights are also linked to better health outcomes for women and children.

10

Poverty alleviation: especially worth noting, because poverty affects every dimension of women’s lives. However, it can be hard to define and can encompass many issues. While we refer to poverty in terms of financial capital in other places in this report, there are multiple forms of poverty, and it is often defined as the state where people are disconnected from financial and social capital.11 therefore, the best poverty interventions are multi-dimensional, for example providing skills training and social support in addition to opportunities to generate income and productive assets.

Tara Health Foundation

This work was made possible through the generous financial support of Tara Health Foundation, and was done in collaboration with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.