Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump — with the full support of her father, President Trump — on Thursday launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which aims to bolster the economic fortunes of women in the developing world.
In a statement to Fox News, Ivanka Trump said: “Today we launched W-GDP, the first-ever U.S. government-wide initiative focused on the economic empowerment of women. We aim to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.”
She added: “Investing in women is so critical to America’s national security interests and integral to achieving global peace, prosperity and stability. This is smart, metric-driven development assistance aligned with the administration’s goal of transitioning countries from recipients of foreign aid to trading partners.”
The initiative involves the State Department, the National Security Council and other agencies.
It aims to coordinate current programs and develop new ones to assist women in areas including job training, financial support, and legal or regulatory reforms.
The initiative will draw on public and private resources, with the U.S. Agency for International Development initially setting up a $50 million fund, and it’s said to draw on already-budgeted funding.
THE WOMEN’S GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROSPERITY INITIATIVE LED BY IVANKA TRUMP WILL CHANGE WOMEN’S LIVES
Calling it a “historic step,” President Trump signed a national security memo to launch the effort. He framed it as a way to promote stability around the world.
He was joined in the Oval Office by Ivanka, and by elected officials, Cabinet members, business leaders and women who have benefited from such programs.
The initiative, which Ivanka Trump detailed Thursday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled, “Empower Women to Foster Freedom,” is said to build on previous White House efforts to help women internationally.
The Obama administration established an Office of Global Women’s Issues at the State Department and established an ambassador-at-large for global women’s Issues. That position has been vacant since Trump took office — drawing criticism from some advocates — but the White House said it now has a candidate lined up for the job.
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Ivanka Trump, who will attend the Munich Security Conference next week to promote the project, said her hope is that this effort has staying power beyond the current administration. Past global initiatives she has studied include the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, started under President George W. Bush in 2003.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.