Women and girls make up half the world’s population. Yet far too often, their voices and experiences go unheard or unheeded. They are underrepresented in the halls of political and economic power and overrepresented in poverty. Barriers from discriminatory laws and policies block the path to progress.
The unequal status of women and girls has serious political, economic, and social implications. It can limit the ability of communities to resolve conflict, countries to boost their economies, or regions to sustain peace and prosperity.
That’s why the State Department has an office devoted to women’s empowerment. With origins dating back to 1995, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has a mandate to promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls through U.S. foreign policy. Headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, the office leads the Department’s efforts to integrate women’s empowerment into U.S. policy, diplomacy, partnerships, and programs.
As a policy office with a focused portfolio of innovative programs, the office serves as a resource for U.S. diplomats in Washington and around the world. It also leads on the Department’s priorities around women’s equality, including women’s economic empowerment, women’s participation in peace and security, and violence against women.