US announces two women empowerment programmes in India

Washington, Feb 9, 2019: The Trump administration has announced that it will launch two projects in India in partnership with the private sector as part of its historic initiative to empower 50 million women globally to tap their economic potential.

The initiative will be led by Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter and senior advisor of President Donald Trump.

The US President signed a memorandum to launch the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative—a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment.
One of the programmes will be launched in West Bengal.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with PepsiCo in West Bengal would scale women’s economic empowerment throughout PepsiCo’s agriculture supply chains, the White House said.

“The OPIC (The Overseas Private Investment Corporation) USD100 million loan will expand IndusInd’s microfinance lending to women in India,” it added.

Further the USAID-UPS Memorandum of Understanding is aimed at improving the ability of women entrepreneurs to export their goods to markets, with an initial focus in Africa, Asia and Central America.

The Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues will launch ‘WE RISE’ to work with microfinance civil society organisations to reduce barriers faced by women entrepreneurs.

It also announced creation of a W-GDP Fund which with an initial USD 50 million fund at USAID will support innovative and effective programs that advance women’s economic empowerment.

“Our goal is to reach 50 million women and maybe more, and it looks like it is probably going to be substantially more than that, substantially more than 50 million women, in the developing world, and that will be done, Ivanka, by 2025, has said,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he signed the memorandum.

“Our goal is to empower women to help their home countries become self-reliant and to allow a lot of families, millions of families throughout the world to become self-reliant. And also in the United States, very importantly,” he said.

“As my national security strategy says, investing in women helps achieve greater peace and prosperity between nations, not only our nation, this is all nations, all over the world, we’re getting together, we’ve developed a lot many really tremendous relationships because of what we’re doing right here,” Trump said.

Earlier in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Ivanka said the new initiative would for the first time coordinate America’s commitment to one of the most undervalued resources in the developing world—the talent, ambition and genius of women. This initiative aims to help 50 million women in developing countries realise their economic potential by 2025.

Observing that expanding women’s economic participation had the potential to boost global economic output by an additional USD12 trillion by 2025, Ivanka said the number represented far more than an economic boom—it represented millions of lives full of promise: mothers who could provide for their children, daughters who could be the first to graduate from high school, and young women who could start businesses and create jobs.


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