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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


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

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»


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

July 3: 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» DipNote»


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»


President Obama Presents the State Department’s 2014 International Women of Courage Award to Dr. Maha Al Muneef of Saudi Arabia
March 29, 2014


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International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony
March 4, 2014

Ambassador Russell (Mar. 4): "We’re delighted to have you here today to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of International Women’s Day, which we mark every year by recognizing women who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk." Full Text» Bios of 2014 Award Winners» DipNote»

Photos from IWOC Awards Ceremony

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International Women's Day
March 8, 2014

Secretary Kerry (Mar. 7): "The United States stands ready to protect and advance the health, education, and human rights of women and girls everywhere, because women's progress is human progress." Full Text»


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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