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Foreign assistance reform bill introduced in House

Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA, 11th) introduced the “Global Partnerships Act of 2013” (H.R. 1793). According to a press release from Representative Connolly, the bill would reform the U.S. foreign aid system by, among other things, “restoring the U.S. Agency for International Development’s policy and budget functions and identifying eight concise goals for…

White House releases fact sheet on efforts to promote gender equality

The White House released a fact sheet titled “The Obama Administration’s Comprehensive Efforts to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Worldwide.” Among other things, the fact sheet summarizes the Administration’s efforts to address gender-based violence (GBV) and to promote gender equality through its global health and food security programs.

Administration actions and statements commemorating International Women’s Day

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the White House released a statement from President Obama summarizing, among other things, U.S. efforts to ensure that women and girls are at the center of U.S. food security initiatives and global health programs. Additionally, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry provided remarks during the Seventh Annual…

State Department and USAID release a “Joint Summary of Performance and Financial Information for FY 2012″

The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a “Joint Summary of Performance and Financial Information for FY 2012” summarizing the performance and accomplishments of the two agencies in fulfilling their diplomatic and development objectives, including efforts to address global health issues.

President Obama discusses U.S. global health efforts in State of the Union Address

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama outlined U.S. efforts to address global poverty over the next two decades by, among other things, “empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve, and helping communities to feed, and power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s…

President Obama signs memorandum on coordination of U.S. efforts to advance gender equality globally

President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum titled “Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally” which 1) directs the Secretary of State to designate an Ambassador at Large charged with leading the Office of Global Women’s Issue at the State Department, 2) ensures…

Administration official provides statement regarding UN resolution on efforts to end obstetric fistula

U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Terri Robl, provided a statement before the Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations regarding U.S. support and co-sponsorship of a resolution titled “Support Efforts to End Obstetric Fistula”.

Administration actions and statements commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Vice President Joseph Biden released a statement reaffirming the U.S. commitment to eliminating violence against women and girls, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer announced $3 million in grants to address the link between HIV and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released resources in support of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” campaign.

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State Department and USAID release "National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security" implementation plans

The Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) each released an implementation plan for the “National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security,” which was issued by the White House in December 2011 and has a stated goal “to empower half the world’s population to act as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity.” Both implementation plans include provisions addressing health and gender-based violence.

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Administration releases global strategy on gender-based violence and President Obama issues Executive Order directing implementation of the Strategy

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released the “United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally.”  According to a State Department press release, the Strategy “outlines four key objectives: increase coordination of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts among U.S. Government agencies and with other stakeholders; to enhance integration of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts into existing U.S. Government work; to improve collection, analysis, and use of data and research to enhance gender-based violence prevention and response efforts; and to enhance or expand U.S. Government programming that addresses gender-based violence.” 

President Obama issued an Executive Order on “Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally,” to enhance the Administration’s efforts to address gender-based violence (GBV).  According to a White House fact sheet, the Strategy creates an interagency working group co-chaired by the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and directs the interagency working group to implement the Strategy.

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