Harris to announce R16m in pledges to boost women in green sectors
US Vice President Kamala Harris will announce an initiative on Thursday to help women advance in important sectors such as clean energy, fisheries and environmental conservation in countries around the world, the White House said.
Harris will announce some $900m (R16.5bn) in pledges from governments, companies and civil society organisations as part of the Women in the Sustainable Economy Initiative (WISE), the White House said in a statement.
The announcement will come as the United States hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
Harris, who is running for re-election with President Joe Biden in 2024, is focusing on issues that are important to women ahead of a presidential election that is likely to hinge in part on voters' concerns over abortion rights.
Harris has been a prominent voice within the Biden administration in advocating for women's rights to abortion after the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs Wade, which had cemented those rights, in 2022.
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The White House said countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico and companies such as Amazon, Citi and PepsiCo, had committed millions of dollars to efforts to help women gain jobs, training and funding in environmentally friendly sectors.
Canada committed $12.52m (R230m) through 2025 for projects that support enterprises owned and run by women in Ghana, for example, and Amazon had committed to invest $50m (R920m) for "climate tech" companies led by women.
"Women’s economic opportunities are linked to their ability to control, access and use land, energy and water," the White House said in a statement. "By supporting women’s work and leadership in the sectors critical to the future of our planet, we promote women’s economic security, and we advance work to address the causes and effects of climate change and bolster economic prosperity."