Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

  • Learn what organizations around the world are doing to help girls learn and how you can help.

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  • Join us in observing the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

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  • Join USAID for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, November 25 - December 10, 2014

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  • USAID Partners with Nike Foundation and DFID to Empower Girls

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  • USAID's Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy

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Empowers Working Moms
Pakistani Company's Day Care Center Enables Mothers to Work
Seeds that strengthen
Women Gain Strength from Peru’s Forest Seeds
Abdul Majid, second from left, is recognized for his commitment to educating his three daughters.
Film Motivates Bangladeshi Parents to Keep Girls in School

Long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential. But today, women and girls continue to face disadvantages in every sector in which we work, while in some cases, boys are falling behind. 

In agriculture, women make up more than 40 percent of the labor force, but only represent between 3 to 20 percent of landholders. In Africa, women-owned enterprises make up as little as 10 percent of all businesses--and in South Asia, only 3 percent. And despite representing half the global population, women compromise less than 20 percent of the world's legislators. 

If we can erase these inequities--and put women on equal footing with men--we know that we can unlock human potential on a transformational scale. Just by empowering women farmers with the same access to land, new technologies and capital as men, we can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent and feed an additional 150 million people. 

For decades, USAID has been leading global efforts to achieve gender equality. While great strides have been made, gender inequality remains a significant challenge across every development initiative worldwide, from education to global health.

Today, we are accelerating efforts to advance equality and promote women's advancement by: 

  • Ensuring all our strategies and programs contribute to reducing gender gaps that impede development and slow progress;
  • Developing frameworks and metrics that measure the gender impact of our program so we can measure women's participation, priorities, and needs; and
  • Ensuring the composition of our work staff reflects our own principles so we reflect our commitment to equality and female leadership.

We have established a solid foundation to accelerate progress:

  • We ensure that every strategy and project is shaped by a gender analysis and establishes common indicators for judging our success.
  • We released a new Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, which will significantly strengthen our capacity to support women and girls by ensuring our efforts are integrated and based in rigorous analysis. 

Blog Posts

For questions regarding USAID's Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Office, contact Office Director Vikki Stein. 

Last updated: December 19, 2014

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