United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Office of Press Relations
For Immediate Release
November 18, 2019
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CROWLEY: It is critically important work of the W-GDP Fund, especially today, as we’re here to announce some exciting new partnerships and programming. I’m really proud to stand before you today, because watching that video is evidence that all of us that the incredibly important work that W-GDP is doing in connection with all these various partners around the world and here at home is unleashing women’s economic potential in ways that we have never seen before. And when we do that, you know, we change the world.
W-GDP is, as I say, working around the world to unleash women’s economic potential. It seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025. Through U.S. government activities, private public partnerships, and a new innovative fund, W-GDP looks to reach these women across the world through its three main pillars: women prospering the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs, and women enabled in the economy. With that, I am delighted to invite Advisor to the President, my friend, Ivanka Trump and Administrator Mark Green to the stage to talk more about W-GDP and the Women Connect challenge, and also announce the awardees that we are about to honor. Ivanka, Administrator Green, please join me on stage. (applause)
ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Good afternoon and thank you all for joining us. A special welcome to our Community and Gender Advisors who have flown in literally from all around the world to attend the first ever USAID Breaking Gender Barriers Conference.
Some of you were on the plane, when I was flying back from Europe a couple of nights ago. So last year, Advisor Ivanka Trump and I launched the WomenConnect Challenge, an initiative that clearly demonstrates both the power and the possibility of entrepreneurship to address the gender digital divide and better integrate women into a digital economy all around the world. Today, we’re excited to announce the second round of W-GDP WomenConnect Awardees.
ADVISOR TRUMP: This is incredibly exciting for us — and first of all, welcome, everyone who’s from DC and those from abroad. It’s great to have you all here focused on addressing some of these major issues and advancing solutions to them. So, I won’t (inaudible) DC. As Mark said, last year we launched the first round of grants for WomenConnect. And today, we’re celebrating a very large and exciting launch of brands across the W-GDP Initiative to aid organizations of over $11 million, all with the objective of empowering women through one of the three pillars that Monica outlined before. And obviously, women in the digital economy is absolutely critical. We know that today in developing countries there is a tremendous digital gender gap that exists. In fact, just in terms of mobile access, there are 1.7 billion women in small to medium-sized countries, that in economies that have no mobile connectivity whatsoever. And in some countries, the Internet gender gap is as much as 40 percent.
So, digital inclusion is very important to the success of W-GDP, and we’re excited today to highlight three grantees that are part of the broader W-GDP Initiative. So, with that, I will announce the grantee for Pillar One. Each of these grants, bear one of the pillars the broader W-GDP Initiative. And the first pillar is women prospering in the workforce. And Dimagi is going to in a few moments, share her story on how her organization is leading. (applause)
So, congratulations Dimagi.
For Pillar Two: women succeeding as entrepreneurs. There’s an incredible organization called United Purpose that we’re looking to accelerate the activity of. (applause)
And lastly, Pillar Three: the enabling environment, which we’ll be talking more about in our panel. I would like to introduce the representative from Solidaridad. (applause)
So, I’m excited to hear these incredible stories and (inaudible). Thank you.