Public and Private Investments in Women and Girls Through the Equal Futures Partnership
About the Author: Wenchi Yu serves in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
On April 18, 2013, President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim co-hosted the second Equal Futures Partnership meeting, along with the U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew, Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett, and National Economic Advisor to President Obama Gene Sperling on the margins of the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. The 13 founding members issued a report on progress made thus far, while six new country members joined the partnership with new commitments, and three more signaled intent to join at the next convening. Some of the new country… more »
Promoting Labor Rights for Women Domestic Workers
About the Author: Barbara Shailor serves as Special Representative forInternational Labor Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
This year during Women’s History Month, the United States is highlighting its continuing efforts to press for gender equality and to advance the status of women and girls. As Secretary Kerry affirmed in his editorial on March 8, the contributions of women are essential for widely-shared prosperity, sustainable development, and durable peace.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize the women who perform some of the most marginalized and at the same time, most personal, work in our global economy — domestic workers. Their contribution has long gone undervalued and unrecognized; yet, domestic workers — approximately 80 percent of… more »
Expanding the Training of Female Peacekeepers
Women Light the Way for Future Generations
About the Authors: Rachel Kastenberg serves as a Senior Advisor for the Secretary of State’s Global Partnerships Initiative, and Justin Sosne serves as a Senior Advisor in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
Most of us in the United States don’t think twice when we turn on a light to work late into the night or cook dinner without inhaling dangerous smoke. Yet, these everyday tasks are still out of reach for the estimated 1.3 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity, and the estimated 2.7 billion people without access to clean cooking facilities — 95 percent of whom are in either sub-Saharan Africa or Asia.
During Women’s… more »
International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM: Working Together To End a Devastating Practice
About the Author: Melanne Verveer serves as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.
On February 6, 2013, in observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, I had the privilege of leading a panel discussion at the State Department to help bring global attention to a harmful traditional practice that risks the lives, dignity, and well-being of women and girls in far too many places around the world.
I was honored to be joined by such dedicated leaders and practitioners as Amina Salum Ali, Ambassador of the African Union to the United States; Dr. Nawal Nour, a Sudanese-American from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Bacary Tamba from Tostan, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Senegal; and Jessie Hexpoor from Hivos, an NGO based in the Netherlands. They each have made, and are continuing to make, extraordinary contributions toward putting an end to female genital mutilation/cutting… more »
Taking the Lessons of Title IX Global—On the Court and In Life
About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
February 6 marks the 27th National Day of Women and Girls in Sports.
Today in Esteli, Nicaragua, girls from under-served areas are on the softball diamond, fielding grounders, running out base hits, and learning how sports can improve their health and their performance in the classroom.
In Donetsk, Ukraine, girls were on the basketball court, looking for the outlet pass, grabbing rebounds, and working as a team.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, 12 young, female basketball players from Senegal recently concluded a 10-day international exchange.… more »
President Obama Signs Memorandum Institutionalizing the Office of Global Women’s Issues
Support for Entrepreneurship and Women’s Empowerment Among U.S. Priorities in South and Central Asia
About the Author: Robert Blake serves as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.
Rabia Mariam is a businesswoman who employs an all-women workforce to manufacture scarves and rugs from silk, cotton-silk blend, and wool in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan. Working with the USAID IDEA-NEW program, she employs nearly 1,000 women — many of them widows. Many of these Afghan women raise silkworms at home and boil cocoons, and go to weaving centers to weave the scarves and other handicrafts. Rabia’s work is bringing economic opportunity and hope to Afghan women.
I had the privilege of meeting Rabia and learning about her work at the South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, which was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh last month. The event exemplifies several of our bureau’s highest priorities… more »
Women, Technology, and International Development
About the Author: Ann Mei Chang serves as the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
Over the past decade, the international development community has recognized that investing in women is the most direct and effective way to promote economic growth, peace, and prosperity. Around the world, and more recently in developing countries, we have seen the transformative impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly mobile phones and the Internet. The question remains, what might be possible when we put these two powerful forces together by investing in women and ICTs in low-to-medium income countries?
This week, the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women are convening the first International Forum on Women, ICT, and Development (WICTAD) in Washington DC,… more »
Afghan Girls Lead Peer Education
About the Author: Dawn L. McCall serves as Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs.
The Internet may be important, but it’s not everything. In rural Afghanistan, courageous and talented young women who have never heard of the Internet are using skills today often associated with social media users — initiative, resourcefulness, and social connections — to make tangible contributions to their community.
During a recent visit to the Guzara district outside Herat, near Afghanistan’s western border with Iran, I saw teenage girls training themselves in English and leading language classes for their younger peers. These women worked with the Afghan Women Educational and Professional Improvement Organization, an ambitious organization housed in a sparsely furnished three-room office. This organization provides curriculum planning resources for teachers at a nearby girls’ school, study space for that school’s students, and — as the young, aspiring English… more »