A formal launch for the initiative was planned for next week but has been postponed amid uncertainty about the government shutdown, the White House said Monday. The original plan for the event included remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, as well as from officials from a host of government agencies, financial organizations and private businesses, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Walmart and Bank of America.
The initiative, which is backed by the State Department and the National Security Council, seeks to align government agencies behind the mission of supporting women’s economic development around the world. It will also include private-sector investment. First daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser who has made supporting women in business part of her portfolio, led the policy process over the past year and a half.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the interagency and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance women’s access to vocational training, fuel female entrepreneurship and lift legal and social barriers that restrict our full and free economic participation,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Bolton said in a statement that the initiative “directly supports President Trump’s National Security Strategy.”
Ivanka Trump previously led an effort to launch a World Bank fund to help drive women’s entrepreneurship. She recently advocated for the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, which has passed Congress. That legislation bolsters efforts focused on women by the United States Agency for International Development.