Women’s Global Empowerment Initiative Has a Happy Birthday

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One year ago the Trump team launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.

This was a quintessential “America First” policy if ever there was one. The U.S. is a global power with global interest and responsibilities. The Pentagon isn’t the right actor to protect many of those interests.

In many places, in many parts of the world, the U.S. would be better off getting friends and partners to help themselves. In many cases, the wrong answer is to just throw money at corrupt or ineffective governments.

The administration has hit on one smart tool: empowering key segments of the society to lead transformation through free-market initiatives and structural reforms that respect human liberties.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump co-hosted an event Wednesday at the State Department to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.

As the point person for the president, Trump has focused her attention on helping improve the lives of women around the globe. This project is intended to economically empower more than 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

The initiative has rightly targeted three key areas.

1. Closing the women’s education and skills gap training in order to increase women’s global participation in the labor force.

2. Highlighting and promoting women’s success as entrepreneurs.

3. Creating and enabling a good economic environment for women. The World Bank estimates that women’s participation in the labor force has been decreasing gradually over time; in 1990, the percentage of women was almost 51%, while today it is only 47%. Cultural barriers, unequal market opportunities, and gaps in training and education are some challenges women face competing in the labor force.

Next week, Trump will travel with World Bank President David Malpass to Dubai to meet with leaders from the Middle East and deliver a keynote address at the Global Women’s Forum. Three thousand delegates from 87 countries are expected to attend the event, including global leaders, experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and students.

Trump is expected to discuss opportunities for women in business. This event will be a great platform for her to promote the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative and secure additional partnerships that will further facilitate positive dialogue about women’s empowerment in developing nations.

This is the kind of foreign policy initiative all Americans, right, left, and center ought to get behind.

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