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 & 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.


WTA Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9060346

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu mourns Ejisu MP

Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, has expressed sadness over the death of Dr John Kumah, a Deputy Finance Minister and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu.

In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, he said Dr Kumah’s passing was a tragedy of monumental proportions.

‘Just this Tuesday we were together at the economy sub committee of the manifesto committee. I sat right behind you. We spoke and shared ideas, we laughed, and I asked how you were feeling at the end of the day.’

‘The positive assurance was that you were bouncing back strongly. That was reassuring. I could notice, though, that you were struggling a bit,’ he said.

‘That was just less than 48 hours ago. And you have transitioned? If such is life, then life must be very very cruel!’

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in the lead up to the passage of the Appropriations Bill on December 22, ‘we had to wait on you, learning of the unfortunate circumstances that had taken you to Germany.’

spoke with you and you assured us that you would be with us on the 20th of December.’

‘It is for this reason that the Appropriation Act was passed on the 22nd of December.’

However, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said subsequently, when he saw Dr Kumah, he realised that he had gone through some pain and turmoil, but God was in charge.

‘Two days ago, you smiled, your usual affectionate smile, an infectious one at that.’

‘When death, which we least expected beckoned; you embraced it….. the warrior that you were.’

‘John, may God give you eternal rest and the good Lord comfort the rest of your family that you have left behind.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

2024 NDC presidential running mate is a perfect choice-Keta MP

Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpe, the Member of Parliament for Keta in the Volta Region, has said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, is a perfect choice for upcoming elections.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang would partner with Former President John Dramani Mahama, flagbearer of the NDC for this year’s 2024 elections.

Mr Gakpe, in an interview the Ghana News Agency, described Professor Opoku-Agyemang as a competent, dedicated, patriotic, passionate, and a well-fit personality whose partnership with Mr Mahama would lead the party to victory.

‘For Mahama and the elders of the party to retain Prof. Jane for the next general elections tells you that she is capable. We will support them strongly to accomplish the unfinished contest that will probably bring back NDC to power in 2024,’ he stated.

Mr Gakpe further stated that a female running mate for the party simply signified how tolerant and gender balanced the NDC party was to also give women the opportunity
to showcase their abilities in governance.

In a related development, Mr Anthony Dagadu, a political analyst, stated that Prof. Opoku-Agyemang could make a perfect running mate if she adhered to all policies of the party by avoiding frustrations and intimidation from party members.

‘This is not her first time of becoming a running mate. I believe she has gathered more experience that will help her partner Mr Mahama,’ Mr Dagadu said

He expressed the hope that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) would also name an equally good and competent running mate to partner Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for a good race in the 2024 general elections.

However, some NPP supporters GNA interviewed expressed optimism of retaining the presidential seat ‘since the NDC have presented a losing team that once lost to the NPP in the 2020 general elections.’

Professor Opoku-Agyemang was the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.

She also served as the Education Minister in 2013-2016 under former President Mahama.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s renomination: Minority Women Caucus grateful for the best IWD present

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Women Caucus in Parliament has lauded former President John Dramani Mahama for his unwavering confidence in Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang and for maintaining her as his running- mate for the 2024 general election.

The Caucus says the nomination of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is the best International Women’s Day (IWD) gift the flagbearer has given them.

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps in Parliament, Madam Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, the Leader of the Caucus and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ada, extended congratulations to Prof Opoku-Agyemang on her renomination to solidify the NDC’s leadership for the upcoming 2024 general election.

‘As female legislators, we recognise the historic significance of having a woman at the forefront of Ghana’s political landscape,’ she said.

‘Professor Opoku-Agyemang’s nomination not only paves the way for greater gender inclusivity in governance but also serves as an inspiration for all young girls across the country to asp
ire to leadership roles and pursue their dreams without limitations.’

‘We thank former President John Dramani Mahama for having confidence in her leadership and gifting us the best International Women’s Day present.’

The International Women’s Day is a global celebration on March 8, every year, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The United Nations theme for 2024 is: ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’ with a focus on addressing economic disempowerment, while the campaign theme for this year is ‘Inspire Inclusion.’

It highlights the significance of diversity and empowerment across all sectors of society.

The National Executive Committee of the NDC, on Thursday, March 7, officially endorsed Prof Opoku-Agyemang as the running-mate for the flagbearer, Mr Mahama, in the upcoming elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Deputy Minority Leader congratulates Prof Opoku-Agyemang

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader, has congratulated Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang on her selection as the running-mate of former President John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer, National Democratic Congress (NDC), for this year’s general election.

Mr Buah, also the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembele, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said: ‘Congratulations to Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang on being selected as the running mate to our flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama for the 2024 general election’.

‘The victory of the NDC is coming again.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Central Forum congratulates Prof Opoku-Agyemang, applauds Mahama

Central Forum, a civil society organisation, has applauded the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for confirming Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate to the party’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama for the 2024 presidential election.

According to the Central Forum, Prof Opoku-Agyemang exuded dedicated service of integrity, commitment, professionalism.

She is also an academic colossus bound to empower women across the political divide.

These were contained in a statement signed by Mr Kwesi Dawood, Co-Rapporteur of the Forum and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast.

It said her nomination was epic, ordained, a game changer, historic, and a reflection of a victory choice that enhanced the magnetism and charismatic brand the party’s flagbearer, Mr Mahama represented.

The party’s leadership made this public after the Council of Elders and National Executive Committee (NEC) on Thursday, March 7, to deliberate on her nomination, which was presented to them by the flagbearer on
Tuesday, February 27.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, who is a former Minister of Education, partnered former President Mahama during the 2020 election.

The Forum said: ‘This Running Mate is decent, has integrity, is honest, very upright, incorruptible, an achiever, down to earth, very approachable, and highly accessible.

‘We know her to be result oriented, appreciates Ghanaian values, not tribalistic and respected by neutrals, the middle class, women, youths and the masses.

‘Auntie Naana’ as she is affectionately known in every corner of the Central Region, is credible and will restore dignity and trust to the high office of the Vice President of Ghana which has been reduced to mockery, comics, deception, corruption and dishonesty by the current occupier.’

The Forum said her nomination and confirmation once again reinforced former President Mahama’s commitment to improving women’s participation and representation at the highest levels of political leadership.

It also highlights the decades of dynamic experience
and innovation she will bring to bear on her work to ensure that Ghana becomes a better place for all.

‘The Central Forum unreservedly extend its heartfelt congratulations to you; your selection has gone down very well with the women in the Central Region, political stakeholders and beyond.

‘The elated voices of your confirmation has started motivating many women to go all out in their numbers to participate in the ongoing publicity on the 24 hours economy and grassroots-based campaigns towards the party’s ‘Rescue Mission’.

The Forum also expressed its utmost appreciation to the party’s flagbearer, Mr Mahama for what it described as a ‘fantastic choice’ and promised to work harder to deliver the popular votes for him to be in the Flagstaff House next year to save Ghana and Ghanaians.

‘Truly, this winning ticket will surely swing and turn the Central Region positively green on the #JMandJane2024 powerful ticket.’

The Forum further urged all women to support all women so that they succeed in leadership pos

Women with the leadership potential must step out of the margins and take their rightful place as leaders of the nation.

It emphasized that it would be difficult for Ghana to attain sustainable growth if most of its human resource base, the female gender, were left behind.

Source: Ghana News Agency