White House Initiative Seeks to Promote Civic and Economic Prosperity for Women

3:37 PM October 17, 2012

Today we live in a world in which women get paid less than men for the same job, are underrepresented in certain sectors of the economy, and represent the smallest fractions of civic leadership; yet the world for the next generation of women could be very different. To that end the White House has announced the Equal Futures challenge - an effort to promote four key objectives: advancing women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; expanding economic security for survivors of domestic violence; promoting civic education and public leadership for girls; and enhancing opportunities for women entrepreneurs.


Secretary Clinton has garnered world-wide support and partners in this initiative. The United States is joined by twelve other founding members of the United Nations: Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal and Tunisia, along with the EU. Each have made national commitments to policy, legal, and regulatory reforms that would promote expanded civic and economic opportunity for women.


Currently only five percent of the world's heads of state are women and domestically the numbers are not much better. Less that 17 percent of our representative body is comprised of women, with 17 women in the Senate and 73 in the House of Representatives.


As part of an effort to reach out to young women and girls, this initiative will provide educational background on the structure of local, state and federal government and guidance on how girls can get involved at every level. The 'Start Young' program, designed to provide an early path to entrepreneurial success for young women, will also be expanding from 3 to 10 cities.


In a salute to our women in uniform and all they have to offer, the White House will also expand its 'Boots to Business' program in the Spring of 2013, to offer over 40,000 veteran women access to the training and resources they need to start own business.


Encompassing all generations the White House will also be joining forces with the AARP to offer retired women targeted training to start their own business.


While these programs offer assistance and training to American women of every age, the idea that America's girls deserve the same opportunities and prospects as boys is a propelling force behind this program. Through initiatives like this we can ensure a brighter future for the next generation of American women, which will not only ensure a healthier private sector but also pave the path toward a more prosperous civil society.


For more information about this initiative click here.




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