President Trump teased the rollout of the government-wide initiative in his State of the Union address.
Participants seated around a long table included Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Rep. Mike McCaul and business leaders from the private sector.
Ivanka Trump spoke for roughly five minutes about the initiative that aims help 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.
“An ambitious goal, but we’re gonna get there,” she said.
“It really is such a pleasure to be with you all today,” Ivanka told attendees at the top of the event.
She called the initiative “exciting” and said it’s the “first-ever integrated U.S. government approach to global women’s economic empowerment” and it will coordinate across departments and “prioritize this administration’s commitment to this critical work.”
“The economic empowerment of women should not be viewed as a women’s issue. It’s smart development systems that benefits families, whole communities and entire nations,'” she said.
Programs such as these could boost global GDP by 12 billion dollars, she said, per studies.
The program has three pillars: women prospering in the workforce; women succeeding as entrepreneurs; women and the economy
I. She said is workforce development and levering new technologies and access to markets.
II. Is enabling women in the developing world to access capital and credit and to grow and thrive and create a multiplier effect.
She said this initiative will serve as an “umbrella” for programs this administration already has in place, and it seeks to “scale those and create new initiatives to fill the void.”
III. The administration wants to “identify and reduce the policy, legal, regulatory and social barriers that inhibit women’s full and free participation in the global economy.” She noted that more than 100 countries still have laws that prohibit them from working in specific jobs.
“This is critical. It is very hard to achieve success in pillar one and two, sustained success, if we are not thinking about and contemplating change with regards” to enabling the environment for women to succeed in the economy.
Pool was led out as USAID Administrator Mark Green thanked Ivanka for her “hard work, her leadership” not just on this issue but her work in “empowering women everywhere” and “inspiring women everywhere, the way she inspires us.”
*Note: Pool exchanged pleasantries with Ivanka prior to the event. She said, ” I’m super excited” for today’s announcement.
* Wilbur Ross, Secretary, Department of Commerce
* Patrick Shanahan, Acting Secretary, Department of Defense
* Ambassador John Bolton, National Security Council
* Mark Green, Administrator, USAID
* Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary, Department of State
* Jody Olsen, Director, Peace Corps
* Jonathan Nash, Interim Acting Head, MCC
* Alina Rashid, Fulbright Scholar
* Amalia Rodriguez, Fulbright Scholar
* Anna Mansfield
* Coumba Ndokh Ndiaye, Humphrey Fellow from Senegal
* Daniele Staicu, Fulbright Scholar
* Darlene Pajarito, Humphrey Fellow from Philippines
* Ella Zande, Peace Corps beneficiary from Malawi
* Fatema Ahmadi, Humphrey Fellow from Afghanistan
* Lilian Achomo
* Lubna Nasser, Humphrey Fellow from Jordan
* Nino Elbakidze, Humphrey Fellow from Georgia
* Nino Zambakhize, MCC beneficiary from Georgia
* Sediqa Fahimi, Fulbright Scholar
* Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte
* Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Entrepreneur/Founder, Alaffia
* Henriette Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
* Kristalina Georgieva, Interim President, World Bank