USAID Unveils New Policy To Promote Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment

USAID on Thursday unveiled a new policy that aims to ensure gender equality and empower the world’s women and girls, Deseret News reports. “While USAID has addressed gender issues in the past, results have been mixed, according to a report [.pdf] released Thursday in conjunction with the policy launch,” the news service writes. “‘We know that long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential,’ said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah during a White House event,” Deseret notes (Stuart, 3/1).

“The goal of the policy is to improve the lives of citizens around the world by advancing equality between females and males, and empowering women and girls to participate fully in and benefit from the development of their societies,” a USAID press release states (3/1). The new policy, “part of a broader initiative to clearly define USAID priorities,” aims to achieve three overarching goals, including “[e]mpowering women and girls to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes and influence decision-making in their communities”; “[r]educing gender disparities in access to and control of resources, wealth, opportunities and services”; and “[r]educing gender-based violence and mitigating its harmful effects,” Deseret writes (3/1).