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Office of Global Women's Issues


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The Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI), headed by Ambassador Catherine M. Russell, seeks to ensure that women’s issues are fully integrated in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The Office works to promote stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world. Fact Sheet»

"No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind. This is why the United States believes gender equality is critical to our shared goals of prosperity, stability, and peace, and why investing in women and girls worldwide is critical to advancing U.S. foreign policy."  -Why Women are Central to U.S. Foreign Policy, an Op-Ed by Secretary of State John Kerry

International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony
March 4, 2014

Ambassador Russell (Mar. 4): "We’re delighted to have you here today to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of International Women’s Day, which we mark every year by recognizing women who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk." Full Text»  Bios of 2014 Award Winners» DipNote»

Photos from IWOC Awards Ceremony

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International Women's Day
March 8, 2014

Secretary Kerry (Mar. 7): "The United States stands ready to protect and advance the health, education, and human rights of women and girls everywhere, because women's progress is human progress." Full Text»


Women's History Month 2014

Throughout our Nation’s history, American women have led movements for social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched our culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy. They have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan. During Women’s History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today. Presidential Proclamation» 2014 Gallery»


Report from the White House Council on Women and Girls on US Agency Accomplishments, including the Department of State’s Efforts Globally


Presidential Memorandum
Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally

Promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives. Ensuring that women and girls, including those most marginalized, are able to participate fully in public life, are free from violence, and have equal access to education, economic opportunity, and health care increases broader economic prosperity, as well as political stability and security. Full Text»


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