U.S. – Colombia Joint Communiqué on Women Empowerment

Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez (left) greets Sepecial Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump at Catam airport in Bogota.

Colombia and the United States of America recognize that gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls and respect for their human rights, are vital to democracy.  Our two countries further recognize the fundamental role that women play as engines of economic growth and development and their important contributions as decision makers and leaders to promote healthy societies, including in advancing peace and security.

The Duque Administration is highly committed to empowering the women of Colombia in economic, science, technology, and security fields, including in coordination with the United States’ Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative.  This is part of a Colombian whole-of-government strategy to integrate women and girls at early stages in the local and national economy, and to empower them to play an important role in local and central government.

The Colombian government will work with the United States to implement the W-GDP Initiative, which aims to advance global women’s economic empowerment in the world, reaching 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative fund.

The Colombian government, under the leadership of the Vice President, will also partner with the United States to further the goals of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, including through developing the country’s first Women, Peace, and Security National Action Plan, as part of a broader U.S.-Colombian partnership on these issues. This partnership recognizes that women are agents of change and essential leaders in building economic and social stability for future generations.  In support of these efforts, the United States intends to advance women’s roles as leaders in civil society, government, and security institutions. As an initial support to the partnership, the United States plans to develop and host an International Visitor Leadership Program designed specifically for Colombian government and civil society leaders to enhance their collaboration on Women, Peace, and Security issues.

In support of women’s economic empowerment and W-GDP, the Colombian Government will expand existing programs by the end of 2020 to have transformative programs in all 32 departments that are inclusive of local government and civil society to provide greater market access and access to educational opportunities to allow for economic advancement.

The Colombian Government announces the creation of the Colombian Women´s Business Council that under the leadership of Vice President Ramirez will be highest body to advise the President of Colombia on policies and programs that promote women´s economic empowerment and gender equality, and will implement programs and actions that guarantee entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, productive participation and women’s economic development – challenges that women in Colombia still face today.

Consistent with the spirt of the W-GDP Initiative, the United States and Colombia reiterate their support for legal reforms to advance women’s access to credit and women’s economic empowerment more broadly. During the high-level delegation’s visit, the United States was pleased to announce the launch of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs in Colombia, which will equip women with the practical skills needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. W-GDP supports programs like the initiatives for Colombian women which improve quality education and training, as well as supporting women starting and scaling their businesses, so they can secure and thrive in well-paying jobs and thrive as entrepreneurs in their local economies.

Together, the United States and Colombia will seek to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework to support women’s full and free participation in the economy, while also harnessing women’s potential as peacebuilders in their communities. The two countries are pleased to partner to further these shared policy objectives, boosting economic growth, political stability, and lasting security in Colombia and our Hemisphere more broadly.