The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 22, 2014
THE PROMISE OF EQUAL FUTURES
In response to President Obama’s challenge to other heads of state to break down barriers to women’s economic and political participation, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Valerie Jarrett launched the Equal Futures Partnership on behalf of the United States in September 2012.
The Equal Futures Partnership is an innovative multilateral initiative that encourages member countries to empower women politically and economically. Equal Futures partner countries commit to taking actions including legal, regulatory, and policy reforms to ensure women lead and benefit from inclusive economic growth, and that they fully participate in public life.
Equal Futures partners include Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Multilateral stakeholders including UN Women and the World Bank and leading businesses and non-profit institutions also support the Partnership.
Commitments to Action
Each country participating in the Equal Futures Partnership works closely with key stakeholders in their countries, including civil society, to identify policy and program priorities. They then set achievable goals as commitments within the Partnership, exchange best practices and lessons learned, and report on progress.
This year, Chile, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have joined the Partnership. Highlights from new member commitments include the United Kingdom’s efforts to accelerate its work to tackle the gender pay gap, address the problem of workplace discrimination, promote female entrepreneurship, and increase the number of women in leadership positions both in the corporate world and in other important decision making positions. They will also work to give women the opportunity to talk directly to policymakers to make their concerns heard.
Partners continue to advance in the implementation of their commitments – for more information on progress visit here.
Support from Multilateral Partners
To advance the goals of the Equal Futures Partnership, we collaborate with multilateral partners to help countries strengthen and implement their efforts. The World Bank Group, host of the second high-level Equal Futures meeting, will continue to work with Equal Futures partners to identify opportunities for collaboration in the advancement of women’s rights in each country and to support implementation of country commitments, through technical assistance, advisory services, and financing, where appropriate. The Bank will disseminate lessons learned on effective programs and initiatives, drawn from impact evaluations, the gender innovation labs, and other bank led partnerships, which can inform the efforts of Equal Futures partners. UN Women will work with the Equal Futures Partnership in the areas of economic and political empowerment and ending violence against women through technical advice, knowledge and capacity development, facilitating and sharing of best practices, and supporting implementation of commitments at the country level. UN Women will use its Knowledge Gateway to disseminate experience coming from the Partnership.
JOINING THE PARTNERSHIP
Countries committed to promoting women’s political and economic participation are welcome to join the Equal Futures Partnership. Government representatives and other interested stakeholders may email EqualFutures@state.gov for more information.