A bipartisan pair of senators are pushing for a global women’s initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump to be written into law.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., will take on the effort, President Trump’s daughter and close adviser announced at a State Department anniversary event on Wednesday for her Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.
The proposed legislation would establish an Office of Women’s Empowerment at the State Department and make the economic empowerment of women across the globe a mainstay in U.S. foreign policy, beyond the Trump administration.
Ivanka Trump called the legislation a “long overdue goal.”
Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Lois Frankel, D-Fla., will sponsor the companion House legislation. If the legislation passes both the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-led House, the president can then sign it into law.
In February of last year, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) aimed to “help 50 million women in developing countries realize their economic potential by 2025,” according to an op-ed penned by Ivanka Trump for The Wall Street Journal.
“Research suggests that the more women are excluded from full participation in a country’s economy, the likelier it is that the country will be involved in conflict and respond to a threat with immediate violence,” the younger Trump added. “Expanding women’s economic participation has the potential to boost global economic output by an additional $12 trillion by 2025.”
As a result, the president directed the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to allocate $50 million for the new women’s fund.
At the event Wednesday, Ivanka Trump announced that her initiative had reached 12 million women around the globe since it was introduced in February 2019.
Nearly two million women have participated in U.S.-supported workforce training and development programs, and more than 9,000 women-led businesses have received more than $1.6 billion in U.S. government-backed loans.
Ivanka Trump has promoted the W-GDP during visits to South America and Africa, and plans to promote the initiative during a business trip to Dubai later this week.
A number of high-ranking administration officials attended Wednesday’s State Department event, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, along with members of Congress and others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.