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CARE Applauds Passage of Landmark Bill to Empower Women and Girls Globally

Josh Estey/CARE
Josh Estey/CARE

WASHINGTON—CARE, the global humanitarian and development organization, welcomes today’s historic passage in the House and Senate of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act of 2018. This important and bipartisan bill prioritizes women’s economic empowerment around the world and equips communities with the tools and resources for women to achieve financial independence.

Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE USA, said:

“One of the last acts of this Congress will create meaningful change for women and girls around the world. We are grateful for the bipartisan leadership to pass this bill in both chambers of Congress.

Make no mistake – empowering women globally has a ripple effect: it turbocharges entire communities because when women achieve greater financial independence, they invest in their family’s health, education, and overall well-being. This cascades across their communities, helping to lift entire societies out of poverty and despair.

The WEEE Act recognizes that savings-led approaches, like CARE’s Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA’s), bring economic opportunity within grasp for women worldwide. CARE urges Congress and the administration to use the WEEE Act as a starting point for broader work that will empower women globally, including improving their access to comprehensive health services and addressing gender-based violence, two issues that hold women back from economic empowerment everywhere.

In light of this landmark bill, we urge the Administration to support a robust international affairs budget in order to fully fund the WEEE Act while maintaining current resources for other critical activities. CARE remains thankful for Congress’ continued commitment to international affairs funding, which is an effective investment that saves lives, promotes a safer world, and creates economic opportunities.

About the WEEE Act

The WEEE Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and in the House by Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) and Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL). CARE applauds these Members’ commitment to advancing gender equality and promoting women’s economic empowerment globally.

This legislation improves the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) programs and activities that focus on women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment globally. Additionally, the WEEE Act expands access to tools, resources, and skills for women entrepreneurs, emphasizing financial inclusion, which is critical for the 1 billion women left out of the global banking system.

About CARE

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 93 countries and reached more than 63 million people around the world. Learn more at care.org.

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