Always considering gender is smart foreign policy. Globally, gender plays a significant role in determining the barriers people face and the opportunities they have available to them—including their access to economic opportunities and leadership positions, or protection from violence or climate change impacts. When foreign policy ignores the gendered nature of these barriers and opportunities, policy decisions risk exacerbating inequality, slowing growth, and undermining the durability of peace agreements, among other detriments
The Biden administration can restore the US government’s reputation as a global leader on gender equality—and take it to the next level through employing an intersectional lens.
Women’s economic empowerment is increasingly recognized as critical to achieving development outcomes around the world. Informed by a roundtable discussion at the Center for Global Development (CGD) and additional suggestions from CGD researchers, this four-point memo aims to issue practical proposals for the next US administration, particularly aimed at economically empowering women and girls worldwide, as a building block toward the full realization of broader gender equality and women’s agency and empowerment. The recommendations build on those in CGD’s The White House and the World briefing book, as well as the CGD policy memo “A US Law or Executive Order to Combat Gender Apartheid in Discriminatory Countries” and ongoing work at CGD focused on women’s financial inclusion.
The same ideals that guided America’s earliest women of courage now lead our country into the world to combat the dehumanization of women in every form. We will not accept that women and girls are sold into modern-day slavery. We will not accept that women and girls are denied an education. We will not accept so-called honor killings, and we’ll do everything that we can to end forced early marriages. And we will work to improve health-care opportunities for all women so that they can help to build a more hopeful future for themselves and for their own children.