As the global economy continues to rebound from the economic shocks of COVID-19, ensuring women’s economic empowerment is now more important than ever.

Women will be key drivers of sustainable economic recovery and contributors to meaningful long-term development. The Trump administration positioned the U.S. to lead on these efforts even prior to the pandemic. Recognizing women’s potential, the Trump team has long been a leading voice on women’s economic empowerment through its Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.

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The program has focused on workforce development, entrepreneurship, and legal reform with a goal of economically empowering more than 50 million women in the world by 2025.

The program so far is on track to make a meaningful impact.

In the first year of 2019, 12 million women were reached by Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative programming, with over $300 million in resources allocated to date.

Over the course of 2020, the administration has continued to identify new public-private partnerships and programming. Alongside the release of interagency action plans in August, an additional $122 million in progress and partnerships was announced supporting 16 organizations in 43 countries. 

The U.S. has clearly led the push toward women’s economic empowerment, but more work needs to be done. 

To expand the scope globally, the United States launched a first-ever international call to action on women’s empowerment in a signing ceremony on Oct. 23.

The virtual ceremony brought together international leaders from 31 countries to reaffirm their commitments to promote women’s economic empowerment on the local, regional, and national level through the development of implementation plans.

The time is now to create traction on women’s economic empowerment. Although COVID-19 has impacted economies across the globe, a disproportionate number of women work in the hardest hit sectors such as food service, retail, and entertainment. 

As key segments of society, empowered women can lead economic recovery efforts through free-market initiatives and structural reforms that are grounded in human dignity and unalienable natural rights.

The U.S. international call to action on women’s empowerment is just the first step. To drive the initiative forward, the U.S. and its likeminded global partners must continue to empower women to freely make the choices that will best serve the needs of their families, businesses, and communities.