Today, President signed a Presidential Memorandum to expand and promote gender equality across all U.S. Government agencies. In the Memorandum, President Obama states that “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.”
Secretary-designate Kerry is on board and committed to these issues stating “In the Senate I've made promoting the rights of women and girls a priority, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because societies that empower the talents of their entire populations are more stable and more prosperous. It's why we created a sub-committee in the Foreign Relations Committee to specialize on these issues and give it the attention it deserves. Last week at my confirmation hearing, I spoke with Sen. Boxer about the importance of maintaining the momentum Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Melanne Verveer have built through their innovative office and laser-like focus.
I applaud the President for institutionalizing these efforts and ensuring these issues continue to receive the high-level attention they deserve at the State Department, at US AID, and across the U.S. government.”
President Obama’s Memo ensures that the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue to assist in advising the USAID Administrator on key priorities for U.S. development assistance. Finally, the Memorandum establishes an interagency working group on international gender issues, chaired by the National Security Advisor.
This will provide strategy, government coordination, and implement new ideas across agencies from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to Peace Corps to the Department of Health and Human Services.