“As the Trump administration launches W-GDP, we ask leaders everywhere to join us as we work toward a future in which women in every society can achieve their full potential and foster greater freedom, peace and prosperity around the world.”

Empower Women to Foster Freedom
By Ivanka Trump
The Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2019

On Thursday President Trump will sign a memorandum establishing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, or W-GDP. This new initiative will 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 realize their economic potential by 2025.

Expanding women’s economic participation has the potential to boost global economic output by an additional $12 trillion by 2025.

This number represents far more than an economic boom—it represents 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. This is the future we can and must achieve together.

W-GDP establishes an innovative new fund at the U.S. Agency for International Development to support proposals that enable women to succeed in the economy. The president has directed USAID to allocate an initial $50 million for this new fund.

The economic empowerment of women shouldn’t be viewed as a “women’s issue.” Smart development assistance benefits families, communities and nations. By investing in women, we are investing in a future in which countries can support themselves by unleashing the potential of their own people.
W-GDP establishes a cohesive three-pillar structure to support governmentwide programs and partnerships. Pillar One will advance workforce development and vocational education for women.

Pillar Two will empower women to succeed as entrepreneurs. Women own or run more than a third of all small and medium-size enterprises in emerging markets, yet the United Nations has found that less than 1% of spending by large corporations on suppliers is allocated to women-owned businesses.

Pillar Three focuses on eliminating the legal, regulatory and cultural barriers that prevent women from participating in their local economies. According to the World Bank, more than 100 countries prohibit women from working in specific industries, which means 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men.

Read the full op-ed here.