At a virtual event on Tuesday, US government agencies and departments presented detailed action plans in regards to the W-GDP initiative.
In December 2019, Ivanka Trump, advisor to the US president, announced the Presidential Memorandum on Addressing Legal and Societal Barriers to Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP), an initiative aimed at empowering women in countries like Morocco.
At a virtual event on Tuesday, the Trump administration, in partnership with 10 US government agencies and departments, presented detailed plans on how they would work together to remove legal and regulatory barriers to women’s full and free participation in the global economy, building upon the W-GDP’s foundation.
US President Donald Trump launched the W-GDP initiative with the goal of empowering 50 million women worldwide by 2025.
W-GDP has three main pillars: Support for women to develop their capacities for greater profitability, access to credit and technical assistance for business creation, and the promotion of women’s working environment through changing attitudes and laws.
Promoting women’s empowerment is “also a smart economic policy. Now more than ever, as we return from the COVID-19 pandemic, women will be essential to the economic recovery,” Ivanka Trump’s advisor, Stephen Biegun, said at Tuesday’s W-GDP announcement, according to Morocco’s state media.
In a tweet following the announcement, Ivanka Trump praised the “$122 Million new #WGDP grants [that] will enable women around the world to be economically resilient!”
“Now more than ever, the work of #WGDP is critical as we recover + rebuild from the pandemic,” she added, noting the deep impact COVID-19 has had on the global economy.
Morocco’s involvement in the W-GDP
Governments of Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Morocco have already shown their support for the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity. Since the project’s commencement, these governments ”made strong commitments to advancing legal reforms of national laws regarding women’s access to credit, property rights, and land rights, respectively.”
Ivanka Trump visited Morocco last year at a part of the W-GDP’s launch. During her visit, she had a bilateral meeting with Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani. The US delegation applauded Morocco’s recent adoption of land laws to improve women’s rights to collective lands.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will oversee W-GDP projects in Morocco. The CEO of MCC, Sean Cairncross, joined Ivanka Trump and El Othmani in last year’s meeting. As a result of the meeting, “MCC and the Moroccan government intend to work together to improve women’s access to land in Morocco and to enhance women’s participation in the economy.”
In Tuesday’s announcement, Ivanka Trump’s advisor spoke more specifically about how the W-GDP endeavors will impact women in Morocco in the future.
Biegun, who also serves as Deputy Secretary of State, highlighted the potential individual impact of the initiative.
“Samira Sabri, a woman from the Marrakesh-Safi region, will finally be able to legally inherit the land handed over to her by her father. She will now have the right to work the land that her family has been exploiting for generations and to use it to support her own family. As a landowner, she will also have better access to capital, education, and opportunities,” he said.
“Samira will contribute to the prosperity of her nation, and she will be economically self-sufficient.”