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White House on Track to Help 50 Million Women in Developing World


WASHINGTON—A White House initiative led by President Donald Trumps daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump on Nov. 18 announced its second round of grants worth more than $11 million to help increase womens access to economic opportunities in the developing countries.

As part of the Womens Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative, Ivanka Trump and Mark Green, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator, announced that the money would go to eight organizations in more than 17 countries, including Rwanda, Senegal, and Bangladesh.

ivanka ethiopia
ivanka ethiopia
White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump (L) tries her hand at a traditional weaving loom in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 14, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

The W-GDP earlier set an ambitious goal of reaching 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through “U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative fund housed and managed by USAID.”

Ivanka said that the latest grant would support the digital inclusion of women, which is one of the key objectives of the W-GDP program.

“Women in the digital economy is absolutely critical,” Ivanka said at a W-GDP event she co-hosted with USAID on Nov. 18.

“We know that today in developing countries, theres a tremendous digital gender gap that exists,” she said, adding that 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not have a mobile connection. She also noted that the Internet gender gap was as high as 40 percent in some countries.

Green and Ivanka also announced that the W-GDP fund secured an additional $50 million in the fiscal year 2018, increasing the total size of the fund to $100 million for its first year.

In February, President Donald Trump launched the W-GDP initiative—”the first whole-of-government effort” to improve womens economic empowerment globally. He has asked for $100 million for the fund in his most recent proposal for the budget for the fiscal year 2020.

The initiative has three key objectives: to help women prosper in the workforce, to support them as entrepreneurs, and to advance economic equality under the law.