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Letter to President Trump Prioritizing Girls and Women

 Dear President Trump:

Our organizations represent hundreds of thousands of Americans, thought leaders, program implementers, and business leaders currently advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls, global development, and humanitarian assistance for peace and security around the world. While our organizations bring differing perspectives, and employ different methods in our work, one thing that unites us is our commitment to advancing gender equality, and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls, in the United States and around the world. We believe that all people are created equal and deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential and exercise their rights.

This principle is central to our democracy and a fundamental American value. The economic, health, social, and political rights that women in the U.S. and around the world have secured to this point must not be reversed or eroded. These rights must be core to our foreign policy, our response to humanitarian emergencies, and our efforts to fight poverty around the world.

The Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have been strong partners for civil society working toward the bipartisan goal of empowering women and girls. We are eager to see this work continue and stand ready to support initiatives aimed at advancing opportunities for women and girls worldwide, both in the U.S. and abroad.

We noted with interest the State Department tasker inquiring about programs and positions that benefit women and girls worldwide. It is our hope that this attention is borne out of a desire to strengthen and elevate these programs and structures.

As a businessman with international interests, you know well that a more stable and prosperous world benefits all. As our new President, we hope and trust that you will continue the long and proud tradition of promoting American ideals in our foreign policy and assistance. The U.S.’ positive engagement in the world as a partner in helping people lift themselves out of poverty and oppression will serve our country well and resonates with American values of equality, equity, and justice.

For decades, the U.S. has been a model and beacon of hope to billions of women and girls who endure daily violence, poverty, and discrimination. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have invested in women’s health, economic opportunity, rights, education, and much more. For example, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) started under the leadership of President George W. Bush and has now reached tens of millions of people through life-saving medications and one million adolescent girls via critical HIV prevention interventions.

With these initiatives and many others, the U.S. has been a leading actor advancing women’s rights at home and abroad. This leadership both reflects and advances American ideals and strength. We know that investments in women and girls bring high returns for economic growth, well-being, and democratic governance. These programs maximize the benefits gained from the investment of U.S.’ taxpayer dollars.

For example, research by the International Monetary Fund has found that gender inequality is simply bad for economic growth. A 2015 McKinsey Global Institute study found that under a “scenario in which women participate in the economy identically to men...it would add up to $28 trillion, or 26%, to the annual GDP in 2025 compared with a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario.” Such growth of economies around the world will further strengthen the U.S.’ economic position by creating more opportunities for U.S.’ exports. To work toward such, we must build an environment where women are healthy, empowered, and free from violence and discrimination.

On behalf of the millions of Americans and billions of women and girls around the world who count on the U.S.’ partnership, we respectfully request your Administration to significantly build upon the U.S.’ strong commitment to reaching women and girls with effective evidence-based programs. Investing in gender equality transcends partisan politics and supports the U.S. Government’s standing as a moral leader, advances American foreign policy objectives, and creates economic opportunities for the United States.

Sincerely,

  1. 1,000 Days

  2. Action Against Hunger

  3. Advancing Girls' Education in Africa (AGE Africa)

  4. Advocates for Human Rights

  5. Advocates for Youth

  6. AFL-CIO

  7. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

  8. Amnesty International USA

  9. Breakthrough

  10. Build Change

  11. CARE USA
  12. Center for Biological Diversity

  13. Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

  14. Center for Inquiry

  15. Center for Reproductive Rights

  16. Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University

  17. ChildFund

  18. Church World Service

  19. CORE Group

  20. EngenderHealth

  21. Episcopal Relief and Development

  22. Equality Now

  23. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  24. Feminist Majority Foundation

  25. FHI 360

  26. Friends of UNFPA

  27. Futures Without Violence

  28. Gender Action

  29. General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC)

  30. Girl Determined

  31. Girl Up

  32. GirlForward

  33. Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US)

  34. Global Fund for Women

  35. Global Health Council

  36. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  37. Global Rights for Women

  38. Global Women’s Institute

  39. GreeneWorks

  40. Handicap International

  41. Heartland Alliance

  42. Helen Keller International

  43. HelpAge USA

  44. HIAS

  45. IMA World Health

  46. International Center for Research on Women

  47. International Justice Mission (IJM)

  48. International Medical Corps

  49. International Rescue Committee

  50. International Youth Foundation

  51. IntraHealth International

  52. Islamic Relief USA

  53. Jewish Women International

  54. John Snow, Inc.

  55. Landesa

  56. Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights

  57. League of Women Voters

  58. Legal Momentum: The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund

  59. MenEngage Alliance

  60. Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office

  61. Mercy Corps

  62. Mercy-USA for Aid and Development

  63. National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

  64. National Association for Social Workers

  65. National Organization for Women

  66. One Earth Future Foundation

  67. Oxfam America

  68. PAI

  69. Pathfinder International

  70. Peace X Peace

  71. Peaceful Families Project

  72. Physicians for Human Rights

  73. Placerville Historic Preservation League

  74. Plan International USA

  75. Planned Parenthood Federation of America

  76. Population Council

  77. Population Institute

  78. Population Media Center

  79. Population Services International (PSI)

  80. PRBB Foundation

  81. Project Concern International (PCI)

  82. Promundo-US

  83. Refugees International

  84. Save the Children

  85. School Girls Unite

  86. T ahirih Justice Center

  87. The Alliance for International Women's Rights

  88. The Baha'is of the United States

  89. The Hunger Project

  90. The Presbyterian Church USA

  91. The Solidarity Center

  92. The WomanStats Project

  93. Too Young To Wed

  94. U.S. National Committee for UN Women

  95. Unchained At Last

  96. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

  97. United Nations Association of the United States of America

  98. Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)

  99. WaterAid

  100. We Will Speak Out US

  101. What Works Association

  102. Win-Win Strategies

  103. Women for Women International

  104. Women Graduates-USA

  105. Women of Reform Judaism

  106. Women Thrive Alliance

  107. Women Watch Afrika, Inc.

  108. Women Win Foundation, Inc.

  109. Women’s Refugee Commission

  110. Women's Action for New Directions

  111. WomenStrong International

  112. World Learning 

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