Intervention by April Hahn, United States Agency
for International Development (USAID)
on the Summit of the Americas mandate "Women"
XVII Summit Implementation Review Group, November 19,
- USAID allocates nearly US $275 million to institutional development and policy reform
projects that specially incorporate women's interests or needs. An estimated 14.5 million
women benefit from these activities.
- USAID's microenterprise projects, for example, reach more than 500,000 women, providing
approximately $25 million worth of credit annually.
- USAID places special emphasis on women's political participation so that they can
advocate and be heard on the issues that are important to them. For example, USAID has
sponsored workshops for Colombian and Mexican female political candidates in organizing
effective political campaigns and for Central American civic leaders in advocacy
- In addition, USAID has provided support to the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights
(IIDH) to train women attorneys to better utilize the Inter-American System of Human
Rights and to promote the adoption of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In response, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela have
signed an Interpretive Declaration affirming their commitment to improve the status of
women and eliminating all forms of discrimination.
- USAID also supports a number of initiatives that target violence against women. Access
to justice, including providing legal aid and establishing alternative dispute mechanisms,
form the core of these activities.