Ivanka Trump's bid to empower women could be written into law

First daughter says codifying her efforts are a 'long overdue goal' after launching women's empowerment initiative last year

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A bipartisan group of senators have proposed legislation to turn components of the global women’s initiative led in part by Ivanka Trump into law, while establishing an Office of Women's Empowerment at the State Department.

Female development in business and economics became a key focus for Donald Trump’s daughter after she was appointed a White House senior adviser.

The programme, dubbed the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, has reached an estimated 12 million women worldwide since its launch in February of last year, according to Ms Trump.

Now, Lindsey Graham (R—SC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D—NH) have unveiled a plan to codify those efforts, effectively establishing women’s economic empowerment as a foreign policy priority for the United States.

The legislation would also create a permanent Women’s Empowerment office at the State Department, allowing the initiative to continue long after Mr Trump leaves offices following his tenure in the White House.

The measure was announced during a State Department event commemorating the anniversary of the initiative’s launch, which was attended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and one of the president’s top economic advisers, Larry Kudlow, according to the Associated Press.

Ms Trump celebrated the newly-announced legislation as a “long overdue goal”.

Still, it remains unclear whether the bipartisan legislation will pass in both the Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate.

But the legislation was expected to receive bipartisan support in the House as well, with Michael McCaul (R—TX) and Lois Frankel (D—FL) announcing they would co-sponsor a companion bill.

The goal of the initiative is to reach 50 million women by 2025 around the world using private-public partnerships and a new fund to support women in the global economy, prospering in the workforce and succeeding as entrepreneurs, according to the White House.

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“When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability,” a statement about the initiative on a White House website reads.

It goes on to say the goal of the initiative is to “increase women’s global labour force participation and advancement in the workplace by providing women with quality education, training, and support, so they can secure and thrive in well-paying jobs in their local economies.”

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