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Advancing Women: What is the W-GDP?

What is the W-GDP
The limitations that women have to pursue economic advancement on the same playing field as men occur even at a young age. There are societal expectations, stereotypes and constraints that women face from when they are very young. These expectations do not cease to affect women in the pursuit of roles in higher-paying jobs around the globe. U.S. President Donald Trump launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative in February 2019 in recognition of these issues and acknowledging related foundational constraints.

The W-GDP focuses on women prospering within the workforce, thriving in entrepreneurship and becoming established in the economy through the removal of legal barriers. These three pillars of the W-GDP recognize the untapped potential of women in the global economy. A unique team including the Secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense, a National Security Advisor and leaders of the World Bank, UNICEF and Walmart promote the W-GDP. This sheds light on the uniqueness and significance of this initiative.

Women Prospering in the Workforce

The focus on women prospering within the workforce pertains to efforts implemented toward the placement and elevation for women’s global workforce participation. The actions behind this pillar prioritize making provisions for women’s access to education and training and providing the support necessary to thrive economically. Women also do not receive equal access to digital services in comparison to men. This further limits women’s economic advancement considering these services may involve training, employment and financial services. Over 1.7 billion women do not own cell phones throughout developing countries. Further, the likelihood of women using mobile internet is 26 percent less than men. These components also restrain the equality of women in the workforce.

The time-consuming weight of care and labor that women endure also limits opportunity. More likely than men, women face unsalaried work such as family care, cleaning and retrieving clean water. These activities hinder women from receiving a quality education, training or essential skills. All of these components are essential in obtaining higher-paying substantial-growth positions in areas such as engineering, math or science.

So, what is the W-GDP? It is an initiative that acknowledges this crisis that is harming the global economy and has developed plans to invest in over 50 million women in developing countries. Estimates have determined that this initiative adds $28 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP) when it has 100 percent participation from women in the workforce.

Women Thriving in Entrepreneurship

The W-GDP initiative helps women thrive in entrepreneurship by opening their access to capital, markets, networks and mentorship. The W-GDP is addressing this issue because it highlights another problematic area; women-owned businesses face inequality in systems developed in their countries that do not provide equal access to market information, personal services, networks and other means of expansion. About $300 billion represents the credit gap in women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises all around the world. Many countries with undeveloped financial structures are not treating these gray areas in the middle efficiently.

To change these circumstances, systemic reconstructions will provide short and long-term aid as solutions to these issues. Overall structural or institutional amendments make up the solution to combat the blockages women face regarding opportunities and system access.

Women Enabled in the Economy

The pillar of enabling women in the global economy focuses on the policies and laws that countries established that provided barriers to the financial progress of women. The trials women face in pursuing economic participation include the weight of unsalaried care, gender-based violence, lack of expenditure in their education, required spousal consent for employment and lawful blockades to specific careers. These lawful barriers include prohibiting or limiting their rights to assume, own property or have contracts through their name. To alleviate these limitations, the government, private sector and citizens of society must implement essential exerts of labor and force.

The W-DGP believes that investing in women can lead to positive outcomes. These outcomes are beneficial to all, including national security, peace, stability and local economy boosts from family investments. It is time to tap into the population that has the potential to bring upon these changes.

– Janiya Winchester
Photo: Wikimedia Commons