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

November 18, 2019 Updated: November 19, 2019

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump announced on Nov. 18 a round of grants worth more than $11 million to help women access economic opportunities in developing countries.

The grants are part of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, a White House program established in February by President Trump.

This round of grants is part of the W-GDP’s larger pool of $100 million and growing.

President Trump included an additional $100 million for the program in his 2020 budget. The W-GDP’s goal is to reach 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.”

The recent round of grants will help give women in more than a dozen countries—including Rwanda, Senegal, and Bangladesh—access to the internet and mobile phones. That will help them connect with training, employment, and financial services.

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)

“Women in the digital economy is absolutely critical,” Ivanka Trump said at a W-GDP event she co-hosted with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Nov. 18.

“We know that today in developing countries, there’s a tremendous digital gender gap that exists,” she said, adding that 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still don’t have a mobile connection. They are also 40 percent less likely to use the internet than men.

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.

Farmer Aicha Bourkib talks to Ivanka Trump
Farmer Aicha Bourkib talks to Ivanka Trump, the daughter and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, in the province of Sidi Kacem, Morocco, on Nov. 7, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

In July, the W-GDP announced its first round of grants worth $27 million for 14 projects that will benefit 100,000 women in 22 countries.

The objective of W-GDP is to help women reach their full economic potential and “unleash the most underdeveloped resource” in the world, Ivanka Trump said. She added that the program has encouraged other countries to also help improve women’s access to capital and business opportunities.

Follow Emel on Twitter: @mlakan
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