Ivanka Trump is on a four-day tour of Africa (Ethiopia) to promote a $50 million US government initiative aimed at advancing women’s participation in the workplace in developing countries. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) aims to economically empower the 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. For this President, Donald Trump has directed USAID to allocate an initial $50 million to the fund.
While she was in the capital Addis Ababa, the White House advisor Trump said that “fundamentally we believe that investing in women is a smart development policy and it is smart business. It is also in our security interests because women when they are empowered they foster peace and stability and we have seen this play out time and time again.” Then she visited Muya Ethiopia, a 16-year-old clothes manufacturing company, which exports clothes to the local and international markets.
The US policy in Africa under President Donald Trump has mainly prioritised the war on terror and checking the influence of China. This policy was finally unveiled at the close of 2018 after such a long delay from the administration. Many observers of the continent were quick to point out that it did not include the favoured American principles i.e. promotion of democracy, free and fair elections, political and civil rights.
The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) was launched in February 2019, coincides with President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid, and a ban on US aid to health groups who promote or provide abortions. According to the W-GDP’s website, low participation of women in the formal labour markets obstructs the economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.
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