The Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI), headed by Ambassador Catherine M. Russell, seeks to ensure that women’s issues are fully integrated in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The Office works to promote stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world. Fact Sheet»

"No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind. This is why the United States believes gender equality is critical to our shared goals of prosperity, stability, and peace, and why investing in women and girls worldwide is critical to advancing U.S. foreign policy." -Why Women are Central to U.S. Foreign Policy, an Op-Ed by Secretary of State John Kerry


2015 U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (WE-LEAD)
June 23, 2015

Ambassador Russell (June 23): "This is the seventh time the United States and China have come together in this forum to exchange ideas and best practices around women’s leadership and gender equality." Full Text» Deputy Secretary Higginbottom's Remarks» More»


Testimony on Resources, Priorities and Programs for Global Women's Issues
May 5, 2015

Ambassador Russell (May 5): "We at the Department of State believe that advancing the status of women and girls worldwide is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Study after study demonstrates that countries are more stable, peaceful, and prosperous when women are healthy, educated, and able to fully participate in their economies and societies." Full Text»


10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Program
March 9, 2015

Secretary Kerry (Mar. 9): "The State Department is very, very proud to join with the combination of Goldman and Harvard and the World Bank in order to promote women's entrepreneurship and access to capital through the new program that we are announcing today." Full Text» DipNote»


International Women of Courage Awards
March 6, 2015

Ambassador Russell (Mar. 6): "So for every girl who is married too young; who is beaten, abused, sold, or deprived of an education, we send this message: We are dedicated to seeing that you have the opportunities that you deserve." Full Text» Photos»


International Women's Day
March 7, 2015

Secretary Kerry (Mar. 7): "Tapping the power and potential of women is essential to addressing the global challenges we face." Full Text» Statement»"


Equal Futures Partnership
September 22, 2014
New York City

Secretary Kerry (Sept. 22): "The theme of this year's meeting, increasing women's representation in leadership positions, is at the heart of what we can really do to change things on a global basis." Full Text» White House Fact Sheet»


U.S. Department of State Policy Guidance: Promoting Gender Equality and Advancing the Status of Women and Girls
September 8, 2014

Advancing the full participation of women and girls in the political, economic, and social realms of their countries is a key goal of U.S. foreign policy. When women and girls are empowered, educated, and equipped to contribute to their societies, their families and countries are more likely to prosper, and be more stable and secure. Fact Sheet»


The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women Peace Through Business
Graduation Video Message
July 26, 2014
Washington, DC

Ambassador Russell (July 26): "Throughout my career, including during my time at the White House and now as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, I have been a staunch supporter of women’s rights. Throughout my travels, I have seen firsthand that our efforts to make peace are more sustainable when women have a say in how societies recover and move forward from conflict." Full Text»


Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
June 13, 2014
London, United Kingdom

Secretary Kerry (June 13): "When people ask whether or not we can actually outlaw sexual violence and warfare, let me tell you the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, we can achieve this goal." Full Text» Briefing» Trip Page» Photos»


Report from the White House Council on Women and Girls on US Agency Accomplishments, including the Department of State’s Efforts Globally


Presidential Memorandum
Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally

Promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives. Ensuring that women and girls, including those most marginalized, are able to participate fully in public life, are free from violence, and have equal access to education, economic opportunity, and health care increases broader economic prosperity, as well as political stability and security. Full Text»



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