Council Applauds New USAID Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy
On March 1, USAID launched a new Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, which aims to improve the lives of citizens around the world by advancing equality between females and males, and empowering women and girls to participate fully in and benefit from the development of their societies.
The Population Council applauds this effort by USAID. Advancing the rights of women and girls is one of the most important steps we can take to promote development. Substantial research shows that societies benefit when women are empowered; communities gain healthier children and families, attain more education and prosperity, and experience less poverty and hunger when girls and women can claim their rights.
For decades, the Council has been dedicated to improving the lives of girls and women. Our programs and research have changed the way the world thinks about the critical role that female empowerment plays in development. We are proud that our findings have helped support the creation of policies like USAID's.
Many of our activities address USAID's three desired outcomes: reducing gender disparities; reducing and mitigating genderbased violence; and increasing women's and girls' ability to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decisionmaking. Highlights of the Council's research and programmatic activities include:
- Reducing gender disparities: In Kenya and Uganda, we are helping thousands of girls open savings accounts, acquire basic financial skills, and learn about HIV and reproductive health. Our data show that girls in the program are more likely to have long-term financial goals, greater knowledge about reproductive health, and are less likely to be sexually harassed. >> Learn more
- Reducing and mitigating gender-based violence: In sub-Saharan Africa, our findings have strengthened responses for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence; we have created and helped to implement a comprehensive model to improve survivors' access to health, criminal justice, and psychosocial services, and are working to strengthen the links between these sectors. >> Learn more
- Increasing women's and girls' ability to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decisionmaking: In Ethiopia, we are working with husbands to cultivate more gender-equitable family relationships. Our research shows that husbands participating in the program are significantly more likely than nonparticipants to engage their wives in joint decision-making. >> Learn more
The Council looks forward to continued collaboration with USAID and our partners to deliver solutions that give women and girls autonomy, allowing them to improve their lives and change the world.
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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