Office of Global Women's Issues

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

U.S. Strategy To Empower Adolescent Girls

Secretary Kerry (Mar. 15): "We are here, all of us, every single one of us, because we believe ... that equitable treatment of women and girls is and always must be a core tenet of America’s global leadership." Full Text» Report» More»

2015 Evaluation of the Implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally

Date: 12/21/2015 Description: Maya Indian woman with baby in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, Central America. © Papa Bravo for

In 2012, the Obama Administration released an unprecedented,
government-wide strategy to direct U.S. government agencies to identify, coordinate, integrate, and leverage their efforts and resources to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

This report illustrates how the Department has responded to each of the key objectives of the Strategy – to enhance coordination, integration, and research and to increase investments on these issues using our diplomacy and foreign assistance. The Executive Summary evaluates the progress the State Department has made on implementation over the past three years. Full report» [Get Acrobat Reader PDF version] More»

Women and Foreign Policy: Election Season

Amb. Russell (Nov. 12): “In societies with strong, inclusive democracies, we are more likely to see peaceful transfers of power, instead of violent struggles for control…But for that to happen, we need women to be engaged in all parts of the political process. And right now there are far too many barriers limiting their participation in far too many countries around the world.” Full Text» More»

Women and Foreign Policy: Ending Early and Forced Marriage

Amb. Russell (Sept. 24): "Early and forced marriage is one of many challenges facing adolescent girls around the world, and typically these challenges are inter-related. Economic pressure, conflict, sexual violence in communities or classrooms, HIV/AIDS, access to water and sanitation, poverty—the list goes on and on. So one-off programs can only be so successful. We’ve learned that our approach has to address both the branch and the root." Full Text» More»

Celebrating Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy Forum

Secretary Kerry (Sept. 10): "The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise reflects exactly the kind of innovative thinking that we need to engage in if we’re going to expand this playing field as rapidly as we need to if we’re going to be able to implement our very ambitious post-2015 development goals and agenda...And it’s bringing to the world’s attention a set of issues that have really been neglected for far too long." Full Text» More»

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

strong>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

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»