Please see below for a guest post from Ritu Sharma, Co- Founder & President of Women Thrive Worldwide.
It’s not that often that we get to tell you about a big new thing that will empower women and girls from around the world. But this week, we can!
Yesterday (January 30th), the President signed the memorandum Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally and sent it off to all heads of executive departments and agencies. We at Women Thrive Worldwide are excited to see the President issue such a strong statement of support for gender equality, and ask that all of the government take this seriously.
Specifically, the memorandum calls for the Secretary of State to designate an Ambassador at Large to lead the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. The Ambassador at Large would be responsible for making sure that policies and programs benefit women and girls and that the overall focus of international policy, including partnerships with other countries and working with NGOs and companies around the world, is to empower women and girls worldwide. This position existed under Secretary Clinton, and helped enormously to make gender a core part of our nation’s foreign policy. Women Thrive has been working hard to ensure that this focus on women and girls continues after Sec. Clinton’s departure. Yesterday’s memo helps ensures that it will.
This is good news for women and girls around the world. It’s also just smart policy. When women and girls do well, whole communities do well. We at Women Thrive know this especially from our work with organizations and women around the globe. Women comprise a majority of the world’s poorest citizens, and any long-term effort to increase global security and prosperity must include women at its core.
While this is just one step of many our government can take to ensure that the policy making process is effective in meeting our global goals, it’s a particularly good one.