Tillerson commits to continuing women’s empowerment programs at State

ONE applauds commitment to game-changing programs

WASHINGTON — Answering a question from Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, committed to continuing programs inside the State Department to empower girls and women in developing countries.

ONE’s executive director for North America, Tom Hart, said:

“The ONE Campaign was pleased to hear Rex Tillerson’s commitment to continuing the State Department’s programs aimed at empowering girls and women in developing countries.

“Girls and women living in extreme poverty have it harder than boys and men, and we’re not going to be able to end extreme poverty without confronting the ways poverty is different for them. In too many countries, being born poor and female means a life sentence of inequality, oppression and poverty – and in many cases, it’s also a death sentence.

“Half a billion women still cannot read, 62 million girls are denied an education, and 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women. Girls account for 75 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa, and 40 percent of women on the continent suffer from anemia, which causes 20 percent of maternal deaths.

“And while girls and women are hit hardest, as Mr. Tillerson said, they are actually key to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Investing in girls and women lifts everyone out of poverty more quickly.

“Mr. Tillerson’s commitment to continuing the State Department’s work for girls and women in extreme poverty is really encouraging.”

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