Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 11, at 2:00 p.m., Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun will host the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Virtual Event at the U.S. Department of State to celebrate the launch of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative Pillar Three Action Plans and USAID Fund. The event will include official remarks from Deputy Secretary Biegun, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Deputy Administrator of USAID Bonnie Glick, and Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Women’s Issues Kelley E. Currie. The event will be held virtually and live streamed on www.state.gov.
When women are economically empowered, they invest back into their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and stability. In February 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum to establish the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the first whole-of-government effort to advance women’s economic empowerment, with a goal of reaching 50 million women by 2025. W-GDP coordinates all women’s economic empowerment efforts across Federal departments and agencies, including a new fund managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development to source and scale the most innovative and impactful programs across the United States Government to boost women’s economic empowerment across the developing world.
Despite women making up half of the world’s population, their potential remains a greatly underutilized resource, and women continue to face significant barriers to full and free economic participation. The W-GDP Initiative’s Third Pillar – Women Enabled in the Economy – is arguably the most transformative of the three pillars. It addresses the legal and regulatory barriers, employer practices, and social and cultural norms that preclude women’s economic empowerment in certain countries. Examining legal barriers specifically, W-GDP is focusing its efforts on five foundation factors that include women’s ability to access institutions, build credit, manage property, travel freely, and work in the same sectors and jobs as men.