President Obama Signs New Directive to Strengthen our Work to Advance Gender Equality Worldwide
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, "Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally," in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) President Obama knows that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls at home and abroad is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do, as Secretary Clinton has famously said.  A growing body of evidence- and our own experience- shows us that families, communities and countries are more prosperous and secure when, as President Obama said this month, “you unleash the power of everyone, not just some”. That’s why we’ve taken steps to achieve that simple and profound goal, from establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls , to launching a multilateral initiative to expand women’s political and economic participation , to developing a new strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women, to implementing a national action plan to promote the inclusion of women in conflict resolution and peace processes, to focusing on women and girls for greater impact in our global health and food security initiatives. And Secretary Clinton’s leadership in integrating the advancement of women and girls into U.S. foreign policy has been indispensable.  With the tireless assistance of our first-ever Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, she has elevated these issues in our diplomacy and ensured progress for women and societies for generations to come. Today, President Obama took a critical step to institutionalize all these efforts by signing a Presidential Memorandum to strengthen and expand U.S. government capacity and coordination across all agencies to better promote gender equality and empower women and girls. In the Memorandum, President Obama reaffirmed 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.” read more
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