Save the Children as Part of "Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition" Applauds Appointment of First USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Women's Empowerment

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 14, 2017)— The Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition, which Save the Children co-chairs, applauds the appointment of Michelle Bekkering as the first Deputy Assistant Administrator for Women’s Empowerment in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

U.S. leadership to place women and girls at the center of U.S. foreign policy and development assistance is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Evidence suggests that investing in women and girls brings high returns for economic growth, societal well-being and global stability. A 2015 McKinsey Global Institute study found that full participation of women in the global economy would increase annual GDP in 2025 by $28 trillion, or 26%.

Bekkering brings to the position years of leadership and deep expertise in international development, global women and girls’ empowerment and democratic governance. The Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition appreciates the fluency in issues related to gender equality that she brings to USAID’s longstanding work on empowering women and girls globally. The position she holds will be critical to continuing U.S. leadership in advancement of gender equality and integration of these principles throughout our development assistance policies and programs.

The coalition encourages Bekkering to work closely with other colleagues in USAID and the State Department, whose work is critical to the rights and empowerment of women and girls in order to effectively coordinate and deliver maximum impact. Investing in women and girls is vital not only to U.S. foreign policy goals, but also to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of global goals that were heavily influenced by the U.S. government that outline a set of commitments for a better collective future.

Our coalition looks forward to working with Deputy Assistant Administrator Bekkering to continue the important work of advancing the rights of women and girls globally.

– This statement is issued by coalition co-chairs Nora O’Connell, associate vice president for public policy & advocacy, Save the Children, and Kristin Wells, senior director of government relations, CARE USA –

The Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition brings together 21 diverse NGOs, including Save the Children, as well as former U.S. government officials, think tanks and academics that are working to support the empowerment of women and girls globally. Member include Members include CARE, ChildFund, Equality Now, Futures Without Violence, Global Progressive Hub, Global Women’s Institute, The Hunger Project, Inclusive Security, International Center for Research on Women, National Democratic Institute, Oxfam, PAI, PATH, PLAN International USA, Publish What You Fund, Save the Children, Vital Voices, Women for Women International, Women Thrive Alliance, World Learning and YWCA

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