WASHINGTON—CARE USA welcomes the launch of the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (WGDP) initiative to economically empower 50 million women around the world through 2025. We are hopeful that the resources, interagency coordination, and political will generated by this initiative will serve to open opportunities for women around the world to achieve economic independence.
CARE’s more than 70 years of experience has proven the importance of promoting women’s economic, social, and political empowerment to reducing poverty.
Women and girls face a number of barriers throughout their lifespans such as: receiving less food and nutrition in childhood than boys; having limited access to education; being forced into child marriages and life-threatening early pregnancies as adolescents; and facing gender-based violence and discrimination in the workplace as adults.
“Unequal access to credit and other financial services and legal barriers to ownership and control over resources limit women’s ability to participate in the economy,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA. “We are heartened that the new initiative includes a focus on creating an enabling environment for women to succeed economically by addressing these structural barriers and encourage the administration to stand up for the rights of women and girls broadly.”
Less visible are the barriers that indirectly limit women’s participation in the economy of their countries including lack of decision-making power over key issues such as if and when to have children, freedom of movement and domestic violence. Women’s ability to live free from violence and access critical services such as comprehensive health care are integral to genuine empowerment and must be part of any sustainable effort to promote women’s economic empowerment. CARE is troubled by the lack of attention to women’s health in particular within the National Security Presidential Memo and we urge the Trump Administration to reverse policies that are harmful to women’s health and well-being.
CARE looks forward to working with the Trump administration to ensure that this initiative benefits women living at the bottom of the economic pyramid through savings-based models such as CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) as well as those higher up the economic ladder.
In light of this initiative, we urge the Administration to support a robust international affairs budget in order to fully implement the program. American foreign assistance is an effective investment that saves lives, promotes a safer world, and creates economic opportunities.