“…Women’s rights is not just a moral issue or a fairness issue; it is a security issue, a prosperity issue, a peace issue … it is in the vital interest of the United States of America.” – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Advancing the status of women and girls is essential to achieving global peace and prosperity. The Obama Administration and Secretary of State Clinton have ensured that promoting the rights of women is fully integrated into the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy.
Accelerating Women’s Economic Participation
Women are drivers of economic growth. Secretary Clinton has launched efforts to spur economic growth by strengthening women’s entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for women to participate fully in the global economy. Initiatives include:
Integrating Women in Peace and Security-Building
Deadly conflicts can be more effectively avoided, and peace can be best sustained, when women are equal partners in all aspects of peacebuilding. In 2011, the United States developed its first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, which ensures that women participate fully in peace negotiations and reconstruction; protects women and children from harm and abuse in conflict areas; and addresses the needs of women and girls in disaster and crisis response.
Promoting Women’s Political Participation and Leadership
Women account for more than 50 percent of the global population, but hold less than 20 percent of all parliamentary seats. Through efforts such as the Community of Democracies, the Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative and bilateral and multilateral outreach, the U.S. is working to ensure women’s voices are heard in emerging democracies and governments everywhere, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. Women’s issues are integrated in Strategic Dialogues with China, India and Pakistan. In 2011, Secretary Clinton launched the Women in Public Service Project, a partnership with U.S. women’s colleges to identify, mentor, and train emerging women leaders.
Placing Women at the Center of U.S. Foreign Assistance
Initiatives focusing on women benefit not just women themselves, but their families and communities. It is the smartest investment the U.S. can make to improve lives around the world.