Promoting quality education for all.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 17, 2019

Contact: Jennifer Rigg, jrigg@gce-us.org

On Wednesday, January 9th, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act (WEEE Act) was successfully signed into law. The bipartisan legislation was led in the House of Representatives by former Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), and sponsored in the Senate by John Boozman (R-AR) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).

“When women and girls are educated, free from violence, and have access to tools to support their families, their communities are safer, stronger, and more peaceful,” said Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL).

The WEEE Act specifies that it is the international development policy of the United States to reduce gender disparities in education, and political, economic, and wealth opportunities and services for women and girls globally. The legislation further stipulates that the aims of USAID will consistently ensure that gender equality and female empowerment are coherent throughout the agency’s strategic planning and project implementation. To reduce and eliminate gender-based violence in global communities, the WEEE Act will improve legal literacy and therefore increase the capability of women and girls to fully exercise their rights and fulfill community leadership roles for safer societies. As Senator John Boozman (R-AR) stated, "providing women access to tools for economic success supports global prosperity."

GCE-US expresses its utmost gratitude and congratulates all who have worked on the WEEE Act and women’s empowerment as a whole. While the WEEE Act is a positive step toward reform, we stress that attaining universal gender equity is an ongoing effort that will require persistent and unwavering support in all sectors of implementation from legislation to partners around the world. Fostering an environment for women and girls to prosper educationally and economically requires a commitment to reshape social norms and barriers that prevent women and girls from meeting their full potential.

Read the full text of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act (WEEE Act) here.