Office of Global Women's Issues

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

The low status of women and girls has vast political, economic, and social implications. It can limit the ability of communities to resolve conflict, countries to boost their economies, or regions to grow enough food.

That’s why the State Department has an entire office devoted to women’s issues. With origins dating back to 1995, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has a mandate to promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls through U.S. foreign policy. Headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, the office leads the Department’s efforts to include women and girls in U.S. diplomacy, partnerships, and programs.

As a policy office with a small stable of innovative programs, the office serves as a resource for U.S. diplomats in Washington and around the world. It also leads on the Department’s priorities around gender equality, including gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, women’s participation in peace and security, and adolescent girls.

International Women of Courage Award 2019

Secretary Pompeo (Mar. 7): "We’re here today to honor women of courage from all around the world who are standing tall in the fact of extraordinary adversity...Stories like these motivate and inspire us. Our colleagues in the Office of Global Women’s Issues work to integrate women’s empowerment into our foreign policy, and our Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs assists in the push for inclusive, quality education for girls and women all around the world. And at USAID, we’re working on a new plan with the goal to empower at least 50 million women across developing countries. It’s called the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative." Full Text» Bios» More»

Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative


Secretary Pompeo (Feb. 7): "In order to achieve peace and economic prosperity for all members of society, the U.S. promotes women’s global development and prosperity with the signing of a National Security Presidential Memorandum by President Trump. The initiative will advance women’s economic empowerment through a whole-of-government approach to reach 50 million women globally by 2025.... We are proud to help launch the new Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, and look forward to continuing our work across the U.S. government, with partner governments and the private sector, to build upon these efforts." Full Text» White House Fact Sheet» DipNote»

Strategy to Support Women and Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict


The efforts of the U.S. government and our partners to address the adverse effects of violent extremism, terrorism, and conflict are more effective and sustainable when influential actors such as women and girls are leaders in preventing and responding to violent extremism, and when they have the opportunities and resources to mitigate it. Strategy»

On the heels of releasing the Strategy, S/GWI is pleased to offer this Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new agreement to advance U.S. national security priorities with work that will support women and girls who are at risk from violent extremism and conflict.