Five Problems with the WEEE Act

By C-Fam Staff | October 22, 2018

The economic empowerment of women around the world is one of USAID’s priorities. There is much to support in the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018, H.R. 5480 and S. 3247(WEEE Act) to expand women’s access to financial resources and markets. But there is also cause for concern.

The proposed legislation would codify more than just economic policies. It would also enact into law a mandate that enshrines and preserves an elaborate suite of gender policies adopted by USAID during the Obama administration to streamline “gender integration” and “gender analysis” at the agency at all stages of the USAID program cycle.

Legislators should challenge the inclusion of this overbroad bureaucratic mandate and find ways to improve the WEEE Act. These gender requirements are not directly germane to achieving the goal of women’s economic empowerment, they are not necessary as a legal matter for USAID to conduct business, and could have momentous unintended consequences for all USAID programming.

This analysis explains the five ways in which the WEEE Act is problematic and can be improved.