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Policy Issues

Global Women’s Issues

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Women and girls make up half the world’s population. Yet far too often, their voices, experiences, and contributions are overlooked or undervalued. They are underrepresented in the halls of political and economic power and overrepresented in poverty, while barriers—from gender-based violence and lack of political and economic opportunities, to laws that hold women to a different standard—block the path to progress.

Inequality and the low status of women and girls have vast political, economic, and social implications. This can limit the ability of communities to resolve conflict, countries to boost their economies, or regions to grow enough food. The untapped potential of women remains a lost opportunity for economic growth and development the world can ill afford.  The inclusion of women in peace and security, and conflict prevention and resolution is essential to ensure gains reach all members of society.

The United States is committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through U.S. foreign policy. The Department of State has identified four key priorities to advance gender equality and the status of women and girls around the world:

  • Women, peace, and security
  • Women’s economic empowerment
  • Gender-based violence
  • Adolescent girls

Read more about what specific offices are doing to support this policy issue:

Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI): The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues has a mandate to promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls throughout U.S. foreign policy. S/GWI leads the Department’s efforts to include women and girls in U.S. diplomacy, partnerships, and programs, and ensures gender integration. Read more about S/GWI

U.S. Department of State

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