Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Washington, D.C. March 8, 2022.- On International Women’s Day, the United States is proud to join the global community in celebrating the achievements and contributions of women and girls from around the world, while simultaneously recognizing the barriers they continue to face. The United States stands firm in its longstanding commitment to the advancement of gender equity and equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity.
Today, the world is facing several significant challenges that disproportionately impact women and girls, including the climate crisis, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and humanitarian emergencies and conflict in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Yemen, and in so many other places, including the significant curtailment of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
The United States recognizes that in order to adequately address these pressing challenges, we must focus on the needs of women and girls, and ensure they are empowered participants in all sectors of life. That is why I am proud to preview that the President’s FY 2023 Budget will request approximately $2.6 billion for foreign assistance programs that promote gender equity and equality worldwide, more than doubling the amount requested for gender programs in the FY 2022 Budget. This includes a request for $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund. Additionally, the United States is taking several concrete steps to formalize and accelerate policy efforts to promote the rights of women and girls around the globe, including through the first-ever U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. This strategy formalizes gender equity and equality as primary foreign policy and national security priorities for the United States.
In celebration of International Women’s Day and our time-honored commitment to advancing the status of women and girls, I am proud that today, the Department of State announced the awardees of the 2022 International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards. I will host the 16th annual IWOC Awards in a virtual ceremony on Monday, March 14 on state.gov. This annual award recognizes and celebrates women, in all their diversity, who have dedicated their lives to promoting human rights, gender equity and equality, peace, justice, the rule of law, and accountability – often at great personal risk or sacrifice. From promoting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons in Nepal, to preventing and responding to all forms of gender-based violence in Liberia, to being the first woman Foreign Minister of Libya, and so much more, the recipients of the 2022 IWOC Award truly exemplify what it means to be courageous. Find more information about the 2022 IWOC Awardees at https://www.state.gov/secretary-of-states-international-women-of-courage-award/.
The United States remains deeply committed to supporting women and girls’ economic security, preventing and responding to all forms of gender-based violence, increasing their access to health, education, justice, human rights and equality under the law, and humanitarian relief, advancing women’s political leadership and decision-making in all areas including addressing climate change and security challenges, developing science and technology, and promoting democracy. To our 2022 International Women of Courage and all the courageous women and girls around the world, I thank you for your strength, leadership, and efforts to make the world a more just, peaceful, and free place for us all.