As President Donald Trump was sworn into office in Washington, D.C., the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) released an open letter to the new president, urging the incoming administration to continue the U.S. government’s strong commitment to expanding the economic, health, social and political rights of women and girls in the United States and around the world.
The letter was endorsed by more than 100 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens, advocates, thought leaders, program implementers and business leaders — convened by ICRW, Save the Children and CARE — all committed to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls, global development and humanitarian assistance for global peace and security.
The U.S. legacy of promoting human rights around the world can be seen clearly though previous executive actions. For example, The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) started under the leadership of President George W. Bush has now reached tens of millions of people with life-saving medications and helped approximately one million adolescent girls with critical interventions to prevent HIV.
Recognizing that human rights are fundamental to U.S. democracy, the letter notes that improving women’s rights around the world will have a tremendous impact on economic growth. A McKinsey Global Institute study suggests that if women participated identically in the economy as their male counterparts, annual GDP by 2025 could increase by over 25 percent. Such growth of economies around the world will further strengthen the United States’ economic position.
“Investing in gender equality transcends partisan politics,” said Lyric Thompson, Director of Policy and Advocacy at ICRW. “As a research organization focused on programs and policies that empower women and help alleviate poverty, we hope to find in President Trump and the new administration allies that share our commitment to respecting and improving human rights through effective evidence-based programs.”
ICRW, along with its partners, hopes to meet with the new administration to discuss policy priorities in more detail.