USAID 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy

January 15, 2021

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Seven women sit beside each other while smiling
Photo Credit: Fintrac Inc.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) vision is of a prosperous and peaceful world in which women, girls, men, and boys enjoy equal economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and are equally empowered to secure better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries. USAID achieves greater and more sustainable development outcomes by integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout their work.

USAID is committed to empowering women and girls across the globe to advance communities in their partner countries on the Journey to Self-Reliance because they know no country can succeed if it excludes the talents and voices of its female population. Ensuring women and girls can reach their full potential in society is critical not only to attain gender equality and women’s empowerment, but also to meet sustainable development outcomes. Under this Policy, and consistent with Public Law 115-428, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act (WEEE Act) of 2018, USAID’s investments in supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment aim to achieve the following five strategic objectives, which reflect the spectrum of activities they undertake across all sectors and fields to advance this Policy’s vision and increase self-reliance:

• Reduce disparities between women and men in access to, control over, and benefit from economic, social, political, educational, and cultural resources, as well as wealth, opportunities, and services;

• Strive to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV), which affects women’s abilities to thrive and succeed, and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities, so all people can live healthy and productive lives;

• Increase the capability of women and girls to exercise their basic and legal rights fully, determine their life outcomes, assume leadership roles, and influence decision-making in households, communities, and societies;

• Support strategies and activities that secure private-property rights and land tenure for women; and,

• Improve the access of women and girls to education, including opportunities for higher education and workforce development.

Access the full 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy