Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump just announced that the State Department is taking a historic first step toward prioritizing women’s rights around the world, since women are “the most untapped resource in the developing world.” Right now, too many women can’t go out of the house without permission or work in male oriented industries, if they’re allowed to work at all.
A historic global solution
Ivanka Trump celebrated the first anniversary of her signature Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative by announcing her success at delivering a bipartisan solution to both houses of Congress. At a State Department event on Wednesday, the First Daughter unveiled the “W-GDP Act.”
A welcome change with this piece of legislation is that both parties support it. There’s been far too much divisive hostility lately. In the Senate, Republican Lindsey Graham is proud to write and sponsor the bill jointly with his Democrat colleague Jeanne Shaheen. At the same time, Republican Michael McCaul and Democrat Lois Frankel will sponsor the companion bill in the House.
This legislation will “establish women’s economic empowerment as a core facet of the United States foreign policy, in line with the President’s own national security strategy.” Ms. Trump added, it establishes “for the first time ever in legislation an office of women’s empowerment led by an ambassador-at-large.”
Five ways that women will benefit
Ivanka Trump listed five separate components of the law that pertain to women around the globe but especially in the Middle East. She’ll be traveling to Dubai this weekend, which has what CNBC’s Sara Eisen calls, “some of the lowest labor force participation rates for women in the world.”
Women, Ivanka says, especially in the Mid-East, “don’t have the ability to travel freely, not just driving but getting a passport.” Mobility, more generally means the ability to go shopping without permission from a father or husband. She plans to change that. She also wants women around the globe to have property rights. She points out that “most people don’t realize that in 75 countries across the world there’s at least one law prohibiting women from owning, managing or inheriting property.”
The next thing that women desperately need is access to institutions. “How can you start a business if you can’t go to a court of law, if you can’t create an LLC, or access credit.” Right now, women can’t even work in the same industries as men. Ivanka Trump has a solution for that.
Ms. Trump plans to spend a portion of her trip on “convening ministers from across the regions and heads of state to discuss areas where they have moved and areas where we would love to see them move.” She stresses that the administration wants “to support them in those efforts.”