On March 1, 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment. US AID operates as the foreign aid branch of the US government and this policy was created to strengthen global efforts to reduce gender gaps.

Citing its importance, US AID Administrator Dr. Shah stated, "We know that long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential. But today, women and girls continue to face disadvantages in every sector in which we work, and in other cases, boys are falling behind. With this policy, we can ensure our values and commitments are reflected in durable, meaningful results for all."

US AID investments focus on:

  • Reducing gender disparities in access to, control over and benefit from resources, wealth, opportunities and services - economic, social, political, and cultural;
  • Reducing gender-based violence and mitigating its harmful effects on individuals; and
  • Increasing the capability of women and girls to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decision-making in households, communities, and societies.

Read more: on USAID's website, a New Gender Policy To Ensure Gender Equality and Female Empowerment