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Empowering 50 million women
Women face many barriers when it comes to entering the workplace, especially in developing countries. Societal norms in developing countries often prevent girls and women from pursuing an education. When women do not have an education, they cannot enter the labor force as easily and help cultivate the economy. This cultural practice hinders a developing country’s ability to procure economic growth and reduce poverty rates. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative is empowering 50 million women.

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) is an initiative committed to delivering tangible results concerning women in developing countries. The three pillars of the initiative are: women prospering in the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs and enabling women in the economy. It has been proven that when women have economic empowerment, there is a multiplier effect throughout the region. They invest more in their families and communities, which then promotes economic growth.

United States President Donald Trump established the W-GDP Initiative in February 2019 as the first total government movement to promote the economic empowerment of women across the globe. Funding for the initiative began in July 2019.

14 W-GDP Projects

This introduced 14 new projects and around 200 private-public partnerships from across more than 20 countries. The partnerships consist of foreign governments, multilateral donors, non-government organizations, the private sector and universities. These partnerships will allow the W-GDP to influence more than 100,000 women. The 14 projects are throughout developing countries.

In Papua New Guinea, Cardno Emerging Markets leads its partners in working to grow 40 enterprises led by women. It also plans to reform any discriminatory laws in the region that affect some 50,000 businesswomen. In Indonesia, Cargill and its partners are working together to increase the salaries for 2,000 enterprises led by women.

In the Philippines, UPS and its partners are increasing the salaries of 3,800 women and are working to remove obstacles that block full economic participation. In Chile, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Colombia, big-name companies such as Citi and Google have formed a partnership within the private sector in order to provide efficient training for some 8,700 women.

In Liberia, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Mozambique, Landesa and its private sector partners work to change any laws that limit women’s property rights. In Côte d’Ivoire, the International Rescue Committee and partners work to give job training to around 750 women in the solar energy industry.

In Benin, the Management Sciences for Health and its partners work together to reintegrate more than 170 female victims of gender-based violence into the workforce. This is going to happen via entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

Ivanka Trump and the U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator (USAID), Mark Green, are going to run the initiative. Green strongly supports investing in women. He will oversee that the resources of the U.S. government will go towards helping women as much as possible.

The Future

By 2025, the W-GDP wishes to help in empowering 50 million women in the developing world. The plan is to achieve this through a new fund, private-public partnerships and U.S. government activities. The W-GDP will focus its resources on these five main points.

  1. Traveling Freely: Limit restrictions on passports and movement for women.
  2. Accessing Institutions: Limit restrictions for women on legal documents.
  3. Removing Restrictions on Employment: Prohibit restrictions on women and their tasks, hours and jobs.
  4. Owning and Managing Property: Prohibit restrictions on women owning or managing property.
  5. Building Credit: Do not allow gender discrimination in accessing credit. Level the playing field for women including equal access and capital.

With these ambitious objectives, empowering 50 million women will be observable. It is propitious that in the coming years, women living in developing countries will enjoy abundant access to the economic sector.

Nyssa Jordan
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

US Participation in 72nd UNGAThe annual General Debate of the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was held at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City from September 19-25, 2017. This debate is a stage for world leaders to gather in discussion about the most vital global issues. The theme of the General Debate was “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet,” which is fitting for the state of our world today.

As the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the U.N., the General Assembly provides a unique forum for universal discussion on the full spectrum of international issues. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Mark Green met with bilateral and multinational partners at the 72nd UNGA General Debate to discuss U.S. priorities in a number of key areas.

Development
As a major component of the U.S. approach to foreign affairs and national security strategy, development was a large focus of many of Administrator Green’s meetings at the 72nd UNGA. Representatives from all over the world met with Administrator Green to discuss the shared vision for increased efforts towards development assistance.

Specifically, Administrator Green met with European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica to discuss the importance of their cooperation in delivering development assistance that builds long-term resilience. The administrator and the commissioner discussed the possibility of financing future development projects through the new European Union External Investment Fund.

Administrator Green also met with Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate of the Kingdom of Sweden. The two agreed on the growing need to promote long-term development through building the capacity of national institutions and civil-society organizations to foster durable and self-reliant communities.

Global Health
Administrator Green announced that the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will launch new programs in west and central Africa, including Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Niger, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. More than 480 million people at risk of malaria have already benefited from existing PMI programs and this new expansion is estimated to benefit 90 million more.

Additionally, Administrator Green reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to global health programs at the World Health Organization and Stop TB Partnership reception at the 72nd UNGA. Green referred to eradicating tuberculosis as not a challenge of technology or intellect but rather a challenge of political will. The U.S. invests over $240 million each year through bilateral tuberculosis programs and partners with governments in 22 high-risk countries; however, Administrator Green highlighted the need for more partnerships and assistance in order to eradicate tuberculosis.

Humanitarian Aid
Administrator Green announced nearly $264 million in additional humanitarian aid for the people of Iraq. This new money brings the total of U.S. government humanitarian aid in Iraq to nearly $1.7 billion since 2014. The assistance will benefit the people of Iraq by providing food, water, hygiene kits, sanitation, shelter, basic health care and medicines.

Just one day later, the U.S. announced more than $575 million in additional humanitarian aid for those affected by famine and violence in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia. U.S. humanitarian aid in these four countries now totals $2.5 billion since the beginning of this year.

Although Administrator Green announced almost $1 billion in additional humanitarian aid in less than 48 hours, he noted that “humanitarian assistance, we all know, alone will not solve these crises.” Green reiterated the need for long-term political solutions that can only result from a common agenda for bilateral and multinational support.

Crisis Management
Administrator Green declared the U.S. commitment to pursuing political solutions to the massive displacement and victimization of people in the Rakhine State of Burma, the rampant violence in South Sudan, and the public health crises in Nigeria, Syria, and Yemen. With the world facing the greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945, Administrator Green met with many leaders to discuss paths to peace, stability and prosperity.

Canadian Minister for International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau and Administrator Green discussed tactics to combat corruption and promote transparency amid crisis resolution. Administrator Green also met with Secretary of State for the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom Priti Patel, where they noted the potential for much-needed increased bilateral cooperation in the wake of unprecedented crises.

In addition to the U.S. priorities above, Administrator Green addressed and discussed a variety of other priorities. The General Assembly is a unique platform for the discussion of issues that affect our world on a global scale, as it is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations in which all 193 member nations have equal representation. Although the world faces global challenges, each meeting and address at the 72nd UNGA alludes to global solutions.

Jamie Enright

Photo: Flickr

Mark GreenOn August 7th, Mark Andrew Green became the 18th administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID is the part of the executive branch responsible for furthering international development.

As Administrator, Mark Green is responsible for leading this charge. His vision of international development has the potential to affect the lives of millions of the global poor. With that in mind, it’s important that we know who exactly he is. Here are the 7 most important things to know about Mark Green.

  1. He used to be a member of Congress. Mark Green was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 through 2007. He represented Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. This is good news. It means that Green understands the ins and outs of politics and advocacy.
  2. He has a track record of supporting international aid. While serving as a representative, Mark Green voted consistently in support for international development. He was a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. And he co-sponsored the Hunger to Harvest bill, which aimed to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. He has been an aid-worker himself. After graduating college, Mark Green and his wife taught English to rural Kenyans through WorldTeach. In his congressional testimony, Green reiterated how much this experience shaped his worldview, and how it will shape is work as an Administrator.
  4. He was the Ambassador to Tanzania. After serving as a representative, Mark Green served as an Ambassador from 2007-2009. He oversaw President George W. Bush’s first visit to Tanzania. According to Mark Green himself, his tenure as Ambassador taught him “lessons too numerous to count.” His experience in the international makes his leadership as an Administrator trustworthy and reputable.
  5. He’s worked in the private sector. After his ambassadorship, Mark Green remained involved in international development. Green served on the board of directors for Malaria No More and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Most recently, Green was president of the International Republican Institute. Notably, all the organizations Green has been a part of have one important thing in common. They focus on development with the end goal of making donor countries self-sufficient.
  6. He has bipartisan support. Mark Green served as a Republican representative, but he has support from both sides of the aisle. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, praised him during his confirmation hearing. “He has the deep personal passion and commitment to do this job as shown through years of work in advancing our common good on the international stage,” Senator Baldwin said. And Mark Green himself promised during his confirmation hearing to “work in [a] bipartisan spirit.”
  7. He is knowledgeable about aid. Simply put, Mark Green understands what makes good aid policy. He consistently said that “the purpose of foreign assistance should be ending its need to exist.” In other words, Green’s goal at USAID is to end global poverty. Ensure that the world’s poor stop needing aid. And he has been clear in the steps he will take to steer USAID towards achieving this lofty goal. Specifically, he’s called for USAID to “incentivize reform, diversify our partner base,” and “foster local capacity-building” within partner countries.

You may never have heard of Mark Green. USAID doesn’t often make the front pages of newspapers. But that doesn’t make the work that Green and USAID are doing any less important. And under the leadership of Mark Green, USAID is sure to keep on helping millions of people.

Adesuwa Agbonile

Photo: Google/span>