Under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary Clinton, the United States has put gender equality and the advancement of women and girls at the forefront of the three pillars of U.S. foreign policy–diplomacy, development, and defense. Evidence demonstrates that women’s empowerment is critical to building stable, democratic societies; to supporting open and accountable governance; to furthering international peace and security; to growing vibrant market economies; and to addressing pressing health and education challenges.
Preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of the Administration’s commitment to advancing gender equality. Such violence significantly hinders the ability of individuals to fully participate in and contribute to their families and communities–economically, politically, and socially.
To further advance its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Obama Administration has developed this strategy to prevent and respond more effectively to gender-based violence globally. The purpose of the strategy is to establish a government-wide approach that identifies, coordinates, integrates, and leverages current efforts and resources. The strategy provides Federal agencies with a set of concrete goals and actions to be implemented and monitored over the course of three years. Representatives from the Peace Corps participated in interagency consultations that informed the development of this strategy.