Vice President Harris Launches ‘Women in the Sustainable Economy’ Initiative
In the 21st century, no economy can get ahead if half of its population is left behind. In our rapidly modernizing global economy, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring women are prepared for, and part of, the industries of the future.
As part of U.S. government efforts to advance the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” Vice President Harris is announcing the launch of the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, which aims to bolster women’s economic empowerment globally by expanding access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financial resources in the industries critical to our future and the future of our planet. The Vice President is announcing more than $900 million in commitments by governments, private sector companies, foundations, and civil society to bolster women’s economic participation in sectors such as clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation.
This initiative is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing women’s economic empowerment at home and around the world. In line with the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality and the U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security, it builds on the Vice President’s work earlier this year in Ghana, when she announced $1 billion in investments to advance the economic empowerment of women globally, including a focus on closing the digital gender divide. In the past eight months, the Vice President’s leadership has galvanized more than $2.4 billion in investments to advance the economic status of women around the world.
Women’s economic opportunities are linked to their ability to control, access, and use land, energy, and water, which in turn improves communities’ and economies’ food security and agricultural productivity. While women grow a majority of food around the world, they are less likely to own the land they farm and women entrepreneurs are less likely to have access to capital and markets. By supporting women’s work and leadership in the sectors critical to the future of our planet, we promote women’s economic security, and we advance work to address the causes and effects of climate change and bolster economic prosperity.
The U.S.-led WISE initiative is a public-private partnership that brings together governments, private sector companies, foundations, and civil society to bolster women’s economic opportunity through three key pillars:
- Promoting well-paying, quality jobs for women in energy, land, and water use and management by ensuring women have the skills and training; access to decent jobs in the formal economy; labor and social protections; and other support needed to compete and safely work.
- Supporting women-owned, -led, and -managed businesses in energy, land, and water use and management through increased access to banking and financial services, networks, markets, trade and investment opportunities, and technical assistance.
- Eliminating barriers to women’s economic participation in energy, land, and water use and management by advancing girls’ access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education; and addressing barriers that limit equal access to and control over assets.