Remarks at UNGA High Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment

Remarks
Catherine M. Russell
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues 
UN ECOSOC Chamber
New York, NY
September 22, 2016


As prepared

Women’s economic empowerment is a core priority of U.S. foreign policy, because we know that economic opportunity is absolutely critical to women, their families, and their economies.

That belief is underlined in a new economic empowerment strategy released by the State Department this year. And it’s also clear in initiatives like the Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund, which the Department launched with Kiva.org. The Fund leverages corporate and philanthropic donations by matching, dollar-for-dollar, loans made to women entrepreneurs on the Kiva platform. And it reflects our belief and commitment to partnerships between governments and the private sector.

I’m proud to announce that, to date, $1 million dollars has been committed to the Fund from our founding partners, including Bank of America, Blackrock, and Pepsi. It brings us one step closer to reaching the Fund’s goal of expanding access to capital for one million women entrepreneurs in the next five years. And it brings us one step closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The United States looks forward to working with everyone here to make the global goals a reality for women and girl.

Thank you.