Women’s Global Development And Prosperity Initiative Must Challenge Unequal Economic Model, Place Women At Center Of Development Strategy

Washington Post: What Ivanka Trump’s new initiative overlooks about women’s empowerment
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International

“[Earlier this month], first daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled a new global initiative to empower women. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, as it is called, pledges to help 50 million women in the developing world by 2025. Thus far, $50 million has been allocated to it, provoking criticism for undervaluing the scale of change needed. But this initiative will not succeed or fail on its budget alone. What will be vital is the extent to which it tackles the structural barriers that keep women around the world from reaching their economic potential and truly being able to thrive. … To truly deliver for women in poverty, the [initiative] must do more than invest in short-term solutions. It must challenge [a] deeply sexist and unequal economic model. … To drive this change, the United States must do more than pledge $50 million to as many women around the world. It must fully fund its assistance portfolio and put women at the heart of its development strategy by embedding more staff with gender expertise in its missions, bureaus, and offices, and empowering front-line women’s groups. To achieve transformational change for women around the world, we need initiatives such as this to play their part in ending the suffering and sexism of yesterday’s economic model. Let us take this opportunity to build the far more equal, human economy we need” (2/14).