U.S. leads the way globally for women’s economic empowerment

Women are the key to the world’s economic future and COVID-19 recovery effort. So says the U.S.-led Call to Action on Women’s Economic Empowerment signed October 23.

The Call to Action is signed by 31 U.N. member states from every region of the world — including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Estonia, and Rwanda — and aims to ensure women everywhere have the ability to freely and fully participate in the global economy.

The agreement “is an acknowledgment of the collective commitment of the U.S. and the 31 countries comprising the core group to providing economic opportunities for women around the world,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump at the launch of the call to action.

“We look forward to continuing to grow this support,” she concluded.

The 12 commitments of the Call to Action emphasize women’s education, access to economic opportunity, and the need to address barriers to full participation of women in their nation’s economy. It also recognizes women’s domestic work, clarifying how the fair distribution of family responsibilities creates an environment for women’s economic empowerment.

At the October 23 launch event, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo noted: “Our country was founded on the self-evident truth that every man and woman is endowed with certain unalienable rights, and deserves the chance to achieve his or her God-given potential.”

The Call to Action builds on proven State Department initiatives around the world to economically empower women, including the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative.

Magaly Huallpa of Peru, for example, is a graduate of the State Department’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a W-GDP program. Through her training, she was able to open and operate her own chocolate business, winning an award as the best chocolatier in Cusco.

Pompeo recognized her achievements at the Call to Action launch, describing how her hard work benefitted her family, business and community.

“Her story demonstrates the ripple effect that education and economic freedom can have on an entire community,” Pompeo said.