WTA Foundation and Gates Foundation launch new campaign—Women Change the Game—to urge action on women’s health and nutrition

Campaign includes the groundbreaking WTA Foundation Global Women’s Health Fund, which aims to help at least 1 million women in its first year with an inaugural donation from WTA Tour title sponsor Hologic St. Petersburg, Fla. and Seattle, March 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, on International Women’s Day, the WTA Foundation and the Bill […]

Campaign includes the groundbreaking WTA Foundation Global Women’s Health Fund, which aims to help at least 1 million women in its first year with an inaugural donation from WTA Tour title sponsor Hologic

St. Petersburg, Fla. and Seattle, March 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, on International Women’s Day, the WTA Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation unveiled Women Change the Game, a new campaign uniting the power of women’s tennis and philanthropy to elevate women’s health and nutrition as a global priority. A key component of the campaign is the first-of-its-kind WTA Foundation Global Women’s Health Fund. With an inaugural donation from WTA Tour title sponsor Hologic, in its first year, the Fund will focus on a key aspect of preventive care: It aims to support at least one million women with prenatal vitamins in low- and middle-income countries where access to adequate nutrition for maternal health is limited.

“Throughout my life, tennis has given me a pathway to pursue my dreams, and I know first-hand how important it is to have access to the right health care and nutrition,” said Caroline Wozniacki, former WTA World No. 1 champion, and mother of two. “On International Women’s Day and beyond, I am proud to shine a light on women’s health and nutrition in the hopes that all women can reach their full power and potential.”

Women spend 25% more of their life in poor health than men, according to a 2024 report by the World Economic Forum. This significant health gap impacts women’s quality of life and limits their ability to engage in the workforce and earn a living for themselves and their families. And in the face of global crises—humanitarian disasters, war, and climate change—women and girls suffer the worst consequences.

“Every woman and girl deserves an equal opportunity to be her best—whether in school, at work, or on the tennis court,” said Naomi Osaka, four-time Grand Slam singles champion and new mom. “We are stepping up for women in need, because when we champion each other, we all win.”

Today, more than 1 billion women and girls lack access to the good nutrition and healthy diets they need to survive and thrive, with dire consequences for themselves and their children. Across the world, the gender nutrition gap is worsening. Women and girls are 50% more likely to suffer from malnutrition than boys and men. While the majority of expectant mothers in high-income countries take prenatal vitamins throughout their pregnancies, most women in low- and middle-income countries lack access to this simple, lifesaving resource. Prenatal vitamins provide key nutrients that dramatically reduce the risk of stillbirth, infant mortality, and babies born small and vulnerable, and they improve women’s health.

“It is unacceptable that so many women and girls don’t have access to adequate nutrition and basic care,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The WTA Foundation was founded on the idea of equal opportunity, and that’s exactly what Women Change the Game is about. Nowhere is it more important to level the playing field than women’s health.”

Women Change the Game
Women Change the Game will engage global audiences through tennis—translating the power of elite athletes on the court into elite influence off the court—to take on some of the most pressing and urgent issues for women and girls. A critical component of the campaign is the new WTA Foundation Global Women’s Health Fund, which will mobilize resources for lifesaving women’s health and nutrition products and services that are readily available in high-income countries but are difficult to access or altogether unavailable in low- and middle-income countries.

The campaign features creative assets, including video, digital, and social content, that elevate the voices of elite women athletes in service of women’s equality and better health and nutrition for women worldwide. A series of activations across the Hologic WTA Tour will engage corporate sponsors, tournaments, philanthropic partners, athletes, and fans to raise awareness and funding for women’s health and nutrition. The campaign drives audiences to womenchangethegame.com to engage on the issues and donate.

The WTA Foundation Global Women’s Health Fund
The fundraising component of the partnership is the Global Women’s Health Fund, with the kick-off donation of $1.5 million coming from Hologic, title sponsor of the WTA Tour and one of the world’s top medical technology innovators focused on improving women’s health and well-being. Collaboration on the Fund marks the latest expansion of the WTA’s and Hologic’s comprehensive, multiyear alliance to elevate women’s well-being. The Fund leverages data insights from sources like the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which shows the interlocking importance of preventive care, access to adequate food and shelter, strong educational opportunities, and other critical resources for women and girls of all ages.

“Whether it’s prenatal vitamins for expectant mothers or routine screenings for breast and cervical cancers, we know that early intervention is pivotal to helping women live longer and better,” said Stephen P. MacMillan, chairman, president, and CEO of Hologic. “As the first donor to the Global Women’s Health Fund, we’re teaming up with the WTA Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in urging others—businesses, foundations, governments, tennis fans—to join us in this crucial movement of improving women’s health.”

For at least the first year, every dollar raised through the Fund will be directed toward the Child Nutrition Fund, a global initiative aimed at ending child wasting led by UNICEF, with support from the U.K. government, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners. UNICEF, a leader in global health and nutrition, has the worldwide footprint and local partnerships necessary to bring products and services directly into the hands of women in need around the world.

For more information about Women Change the Game and the WTA Foundation’s Global Women’s Health Fund, visit www.womenchangethegame.com.

About the WTA
Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity, the WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sports. The WTA is one of the world’s most recognizable and high-profile sports organizations, consisting of more than 1,600 players representing over 80 nations, all competing to earn WTA rankings points and prestigious tournament titles. The Hologic WTA Tour is comprised of over 70 events and four Grand Slams, spanning 30 countries and regions across six continents with a global audience of more than 1 billion. Further information on the WTA can be found at wtatennis.com.

About the WTA Foundation
Serving as the philanthropic arm of the leading women’s professional sport globally, the WTA Foundation empowers girls and women to live fully and supports our WTA communities worldwide through initiatives promoting equality, education, leadership, and health and wellness.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.

Attachments

WTA Foundation
wtacommunications@wtatennis.com

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Media@gatesfoundation.org

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