WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2018) – The global poverty-fighting organization CARE applauds the passage today of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act of 2018 (S.3247) through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The WEEE Act is a bipartisan bill that prioritizes women’s economic empowerment and equips communities with the tools and resources for women to achieve financial independence.
This legislation, which passed in the House in July, 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 unbanked women in the world.
“CARE knows when women achieve economic empowerment, they open doors for themselves and their families in innumerable ways, including stronger health outcomes, greater confidence in themselves, and a voice in their own futures,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “The WEEE Act is a critical step toward bringing economic opportunities within reach for millions of women living in poverty around the world.”
Equipping women with the resources to claim their equal economic rights, as well as addressing the barriers that keep them from achieving financial independence, empowers them to make decisions to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty and improve their lives for the better. 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 leverage 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.
“Congress has an important opportunity to pass the WEEE Act before the end of the year. By standing alongside women, their families, and their communities, our international development assistance is more effective, highly leveraged, and sustainable,” said Nunn.
The WEEE Act was introduced by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). CARE applauds these Senators’ commitment to advancing gender equality and promoting women’s economic empowerment globally.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-560-1791, email@example.com