Text: H.R.5480 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (07/18/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5480 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5480


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 18, 2018

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To improve programs and activities relating to women's entrepreneurship 
  and economic empowerment that are carried out by the United States 
     Agency for International Development, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Women's Entrepreneurship and 
Economic Empowerment Act of 2018''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Because women make up the majority of the world's poor 
        and gender inequalities prevail in incomes, wages, access to 
        finance, ownership of assets, and control over the allocation 
        of resources, women's entrepreneurship and economic empowerment 
        is important to achieve inclusive economic growth at all levels 
        of society. Research shows that when women exert greater 
        influence over household finances, economic outcomes for 
        families improve, and childhood survival rates, food security, 
        and educational attainment increase. Women also tend to place a 
        greater emphasis on household savings which improves families' 
        financial resiliency.
            (2) A 2016 report by the McKinsey Global Institute 
        estimated that achieving global gender parity in economic 
        activity could add as much as $28 trillion to annual global 
        gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.
            (3) Lack of access to financial services that address 
        gender-specific constraints impedes women's economic inclusion. 
        More than 1 billion women around the world are currently left 
        out of the formal financial system, which in turn causes many 
        women to rely on informal means of saving and borrowing that 
        are riskier and less reliable. Among other consequences, this 
        hampers the success of women entrepreneurs, including those 
        seeking to run or grow small and medium-sized enterprises 
        (SMEs). The International Finance Corporation has estimated 
        that 70 percent of women-owned SMEs in the formal sector are 
        unserved or underserved in terms of access to credit, amounting 
        to a $285 billion credit gap.
            (4) Women's economic empowerment is inextricably linked to 
        a myriad of other women's human rights that are essential to 
        their ability to thrive as economic actors across the 
        lifecycle. This includes, but is not limited to, living lives 
        free of violence and exploitation, achieving the highest 
        possible standard of health and well-being, enjoying full legal 
        and human rights such as access to registration, 
        identification, and citizenship documents, benefitting from 
        formal and informal education, and equal protection of and 
        access to land and property rights, access to fundamental labor 
        rights, policies to address disproportionate care burdens, and 
        business and management skills and leadership opportunities.
            (5) Discriminatory legal and regulatory systems and banking 
        practices are hurdles to women's access to capital and assets, 
        including land, machinery, production facilities, technology, 
        and human resources. Often, these barriers are connected to a 
        woman's marital status, which can determine whether she is able 
        to inherit land or own property in her name. These constraints 
        contribute to women frequently running smaller businesses, with 
        fewer employees and lower asset values.
            (6) Savings groups primarily comprised of women are 
        recognized as a vital entry point, especially for poor and very 
        poor women, to formal financial services and there is a high 
        demand for such groups to protect and grow their savings with 
        formal financial institutions. Evidence shows that, once linked 
        to a bank, the average savings per member increases between 40 
        to 100 percent and the average profit per member doubles. Key 
        to these outcomes is investing in financial literacy, business 
        leadership training, and mentorship.
            (7) United States support for microenterprise and 
        microfinance development programs, which seek to reduce poverty 
        in low-income countries by giving small loans to small-scale 
        entrepreneurs without collateral, have been a useful mechanism 
        to help families weather economic shocks, but many microcredit 
        borrowers largely remain in poverty. The vast majority of 
        microcredit borrowers are women who would like to move up the 
        economic ladder but are held back by binding constraints that 
        create a ``missing middle''--large numbers of microenterprises, 
        a handful of large firms or conglomerates, and very few SMEs in 
        between, which are critical to driving economic growth in 
        developing countries.
            (8) According to the World Bank, SMEs create 4 out of 5 new 
        positions in emerging markets but about half of formal SMEs 
        don't have access to formal credit. The financing gap is even 
        larger when micro and informal enterprises are taken into 
        account. Overall, approximately 70 percent of all micro, small 
        and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging markets lack 
        access to credit.

SEC. 3. ACTIONS TO IMPROVE GENDER POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY 
              FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) Development Cooperation Policy.--It shall be the development 
cooperation policy of the United States--
            (1) to reduce gender disparities in access to, control 
        over, and benefit from economic, social, political, and 
        cultural resources, wealth, opportunities, and services;
            (2) to strive to eliminate gender-based violence and 
        mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities 
        through efforts to develop standards and capacity to reduce 
        gender-based violence in the workplace and other places where 
        women conduct work;
            (3) to support activities that secure private property 
        rights and land tenure for women in developing countries, 
        including legal frameworks to give women equal rights to own, 
        register, use, profit from, and inherit land and property, 
        legal literacy to exercise these rights, and capacity of law 
        enforcement and community leaders to enforce such rights; and
            (4) to increase the capability of women and girls to 
        realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, assume 
        leadership roles, and influence decision-making in households, 
        communities, and societies.
    (b) Actions.--In order to advance the policy described in 
subsection (a), the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
International Development shall ensure that--
            (1) strategies, projects, and activities of the Agency are 
        shaped by a gender analysis and, when applicable, use standard 
        indicators to provide one measure of success of such 
        strategies, projects, and activities; and
            (2) gender equality and female empowerment is integrated 
        throughout the Agency's Program Cycle and related processes for 
        purposes of strategic planning, project design and 
        implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
    (c) Gender Analysis Defined.--In this section, the term ``gender 
analysis''--
            (1) means a socio-economic analysis of available or 
        gathered quantitative and qualitative information to identify, 
        understand, and explain gaps between men and women which 
        typically involves examining--
                    (A) differences in the status of women and men and 
                their differential access to and control over assets, 
                resources, opportunities, and services;
                    (B) the influence of gender roles, structural 
                barriers, and norms on the division of time between 
                paid employment, unpaid work (including subsistence 
                production and care for family members), and volunteer 
                activities;
                    (C) the influence of gender roles, structural 
                barriers, and norms on leadership roles and decision 
                making; constraints, opportunities, and entry points 
                for narrowing gender gaps and empowering women; and
                    (D) potential differential impacts of development 
                policies and programs on men and women, including 
                unintended or negative consequences; and
            (2) includes conclusions and recommendations to enable 
        development policies and programs to narrow gender gaps and 
        improve the lives of women and girls.

SEC. 4. DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FOR MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED 
              ENTERPRISES.

    (a) Findings and Policy.--Section 251 of the Foreign Assistance Act 
of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2211) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) by striking ``microenterprise'' and inserting 
                ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprise'';
                    (B) by striking ``and in the development'' and 
                inserting ``, in the development''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end before the period the 
                following: ``, and in the economic empowerment of the 
                poor, especially women'';
            (2) in paragraph (2)--
                    (A) by striking ``microenterprise'' and inserting 
                ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprise''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end before the period the 
                following: ``, particularly those enterprises owned, 
                managed, and controlled by women'';
            (3) in paragraph (3), by striking ``microenterprises'' and 
        inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprises'';
            (4) in paragraph (4), by striking ``microenterprise'' and 
        inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprise'';
            (5) in paragraph (5)--
                    (A) by striking ``should continue'' and inserting 
                ``should continue and be expanded''; and
                    (B) by striking ``microenterprise and microfinance 
                development assistance'' and inserting ``development 
                assistance for micro, small and medium-sized 
                enterprises''; and
            (6) in paragraph (6)--
                    (A) by striking ``have been successful'' and 
                inserting ``have had some success'';
                    (B) by striking ``microenterprise programs'' and 
                inserting ``development assistance for micro, small and 
                medium-sized enterprises''; and
                    (C) by striking ``, such as countries in Latin 
                America''.
    (b) Authorization; Implementation; Targeted Assistance.--Section 
252 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2211a) is amended 
as follows:
            (1) In subsection (a)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1)--
                            (i) by striking ``credit, savings, and 
                        other services'' and inserting ``credit, 
                        including the use of innovative credit scoring 
                        models, savings, financial technology, 
                        financial literacy, insurance, property rights, 
                        and other services''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``microfinance and 
                        microenterprise clients'' and inserting 
                        ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprise 
                        clients'';
                    (B) in paragraph (1), by striking ``microfinance 
                and microenterprise clients'' and inserting ``micro, 
                small and medium-sized enterprise clients, particularly 
                those clients owned, managed, and controlled by 
                women'';
                    (C) in paragraph (2)--
                            (i) by striking ``microenterprises'' and 
                        inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized 
                        enterprises''; and
                            (ii) by inserting ``acquire United States 
                        goods and services,'' after ``United States 
                        markets,'';
                    (D) in paragraph (3)--
                            (i) by striking ``microfinance and 
                        microenterprise institutions'' and inserting 
                        ``financial intermediaries'';
                            (ii) by striking ``microfinance and 
                        microenterprise clients'' and inserting 
                        ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprises''; 
                        and
                            (iii) by striking ``and'' at the end;
                    (E) in paragraph (4)--
                            (i) by striking ``microfinance and 
                        microenterprise clients and institutions'' and 
                        inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized 
                        enterprises, financial intermediaries, and 
                        capital markets''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``the poor and very 
                        poor.'' and inserting ``the poor and very poor, 
                        especially women;''; and
                    (F) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(5) assistance for the purpose of promoting the economic 
        empowerment of women, including through increased access to 
        financial resources and improving property rights, inheritance 
        rights, and other legal protections; and
            ``(6) assistance for the purpose of scaling up evidence-
        based graduation approaches, which include targeting the very 
        poor and households in ultra-poverty, consumption support, 
        promotion of savings, skills training, and asset transfers.''.
            (2) In subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1) to read as follows:
            ``(1) In general.--There is authorized to be established 
        within the Agency an office to support the Agency's efforts to 
        broaden and deepen local financial markets, expand access to 
        appropriate financial products and services, and support the 
        development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The 
        Office shall be headed by a Director who shall possess 
        technical expertise and ability to offer leadership in the 
        field of financial sector development.'';
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                            (i) in subparagraph (B)--
                                    (I) by striking ``Use of central 
                                funding mechanisms.--'' and all that 
                                follows through ``In order to ensure'' 
                                and inserting ``Use of central funding 
                                mechanisms.--In order to ensure'';
                                    (II) by striking ``the office 
                                shall'' and all that follows through 
                                ``and other practitioners'' and 
                                inserting ``the office shall provide 
                                coordination and support for field-
                                implemented programs, including through 
                                targeted core support for micro, small 
                                and medium-sized enterprises and local 
                                financial markets''; and
                                    (III) by striking clause (ii);
                            (ii) in subparagraph (C)--
                                    (I) by inserting ``, particularly 
                                by protecting the use and funding of 
                                local organizations in countries in 
                                which the Agency invests,'' after ``and 
                                sustainability''; and
                                    (II) by inserting ``, especially 
                                women'' after ``the poor and very 
                                poor''; and
                    (C) by striking paragraph (3).
            (3) In subsection (c)--
                    (A) by striking ``all microenterprise resources'' 
                and inserting ``all micro, small and medium-sized 
                enterprise resources''; and
                    (B) by striking ``clients who are very poor.'' and 
                all that follows and inserting ``activities that reach 
                the very poor, and 50 percent of all small and medium-
                sized enterprise resources shall be targeted to 
                activities that reach enterprises owned, managed, and 
                controlled by women.''.
    (c) Monitoring System.--Section 253(b) of the Foreign Assistance 
Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2211b(b)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``, including goals on a 
        gender disaggregated basis, such as improvements in employment, 
        access to financial services, enterprise development, earnings 
        and control over income, and property and land rights,'' after 
        ``performance goals'';
            (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``include performance 
        indicators'' and all that follows through ``the achievement'' 
        and inserting ``incorporate Agency planning and reporting 
        processes and indicators to measure or assess the 
        achievement''; and
            (3) by striking paragraph (4).
    (d) Poverty Measurement Methods.--Section 254 of the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2211c) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 254. POVERTY MEASUREMENT METHODS.

    ``The Administrator of the Agency, in consultation with financial 
intermediaries and other appropriate organizations, should have in 
place at least one method for implementing partners to use to assess 
poverty levels of their current incoming or prospective clients.''.
    (e) Additional Authorities.--Section 255 of the Foreign Assistance 
Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2211d) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``assistance for microenterprise 
        development assistance'' and inserting ``development assistance 
        for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises''; and
            (2) by striking ``and, to the extent applicable'' and all 
        that follows and inserting a period.
    (f) Microenterprise Development Credits.--Section 256 of the 
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2212) is amended--
            (1) in the section heading, by striking ``microenterprise 
        development credits'' and inserting ``development credits for 
        micro, small and medium-sized enterprises'';
            (2) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``micro- and 
                small enterprises'' and inserting ``micro, small and 
                medium-sized enterprises''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by striking 
                ``microenterprises'' and inserting ``micro, small and 
                medium-sized enterprises'';
            (3) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding paragraph 
        (1), by inserting ``and other financial services'' after 
        ``credit'';
            (4) by striking ``microenterprise households'' each place 
        it appears and inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized 
        enterprises and households''; and
            (5) by striking ``microfinance institutions'' each place it 
        appears and inserting ``financial intermediaries''.
    (g) United States Microfinance Loan Facility.--Section 257 of the 
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2213) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``United States-
        supported microfinance institutions'' and inserting ``United 
        States-supported financial intermediaries''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) by striking ``United States-supported 
                microfinance institutions'' each place it appears and 
                inserting ``United States-supported financial 
                intermediaries''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``microfinance 
                institutions'' and inserting ``financial 
                intermediaries''.
    (h) Contents of Report.--Subsection (b) of section 258 of the 
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2214) is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(b) Contents.--To the extent practicable, the report should 
contain the following:
            ``(1) Information about assistance provided under section 
        252, including--
                    ``(A) the amount of each grant or other form of 
                assistance;
                    ``(B) the name and type of each intermediary and 
                implementing partner organization receiving assistance;
                    ``(C) the name of each country receiving 
                assistance; and
                    ``(D) the methodology used to ensure compliance 
                with the targeted assistance requirements in subsection 
                (c) of such section.
            ``(2) The percentage of assistance provided under section 
        252 disaggregated by income level, including for the very poor, 
        and gender.
            ``(3) The estimated number of individuals that received 
        assistance provided under section 252 disaggregated by income 
        level, including for the very poor, and gender, and by type of 
        assistance, including loans, training, and business development 
        services.
            ``(4) The results of the monitoring system required under 
        section 253.
            ``(5) Information about any method in place to assess 
        poverty levels under section 254.''.
    (i) Definitions.--Section 259 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 
(22 U.S.C. 2214a) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``Committee on 
        International Relations'' and inserting ``Committee on Foreign 
        Affairs'';
            (2) in paragraph (4), by striking ``microenterprises'' and 
        inserting ``micro, small and medium-sized enterprises'';
            (3) in paragraph (6)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (E), by striking 
                ``microenterprise institution'' and inserting ``micro, 
                small and medium-sized enterprise institution''; and
                    (B) in subparagraph (F), by striking ``microfinance 
                institution'' and inserting ``financial intermediary'';
            (4) in paragraph (7) to read as follows:
            ``(7) Micro, small and medium-sized enterprise 
        institution.--The term `micro, small and medium-sized 
        enterprise institution' means an entity that provides services, 
        including finance, training, or business development services, 
        for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in foreign 
        countries.'';
            (5) in paragraph (8) to read as follows:
            ``(8) Financial intermediary.--The term `financial 
        intermediary' means the entity that acts as the intermediary 
        between parties in a financial transaction, such as a bank, 
        credit union, investment fund, a village savings and loan 
        group, or an institution that provides financial services to a 
        micro, small or medium-sized enterprise.'';
            (6) by striking paragraph (9);
            (7) by redesignating paragraphs (10) through (14) as 
        paragraphs (9) through (13), respectively;
            (8) in paragraph (9) (as redesignated), by striking ``of 
        microenterprise development'';
            (9) in paragraph (10) to read as follows:
            ``(10) Practitioner institution.--The term `practitioner 
        institution' means a not-for-profit entity, financial 
        intermediary, information and communications technology firm 
        with a mobile money platform, a village and savings loan group, 
        or any other entity that provides financial or business 
        development services authorized under section 252 that benefits 
        micro, small and medium-sized enterprise clients.'';
            (10) in paragraph (12) (as redesignated)--
                    (A) in the heading, by striking ``united states-
                supported microfinance institution'' and inserting 
                ``united states-supported financial intermediary''; and
                    (B) by striking ``United States-supported 
                microfinance institution'' and inserting ``United 
                States-supported financial intermediary'';
            (11) in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (13) (as 
        redesignated) to read as follows:
                    ``(B) living below the International Poverty Line, 
                as defined by the International Bank for Reconstruction 
                and Development and the International Development 
                Association (collectively referred to as the `World 
                Bank').''.
    (j) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--Title VI of chapter 2 of 
part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended in the title 
heading by striking ``MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE'' and 
inserting ``DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FOR MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED 
ENTERPRISES''.

SEC. 5. REPORT AND BRIEFING BY UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL 
              DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the United States Agency 
for International Development shall provide a briefing and submit to 
the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on the 
implementation of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, 
including actions to improve the gender policies of the United States 
Agency for International Development pursuant to section 3.
    (b) Public Availability.--The report required under paragraph (1) 
shall be posted and made available on a text-based, searchable, and 
publicly-available internet website.

SEC. 6. REPORT BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States 
shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a 
report on development assistance for micro, small and medium-sized 
enterprises administered by the United States Agency for International 
Development.
    (b) Matters To Be Included.--The report required under subsection 
(a) shall include an assessment of the following:
            (1) What is known about the impact of such development 
        assistance on the economies of developing countries.
            (2) The extent to which such development assistance is 
        targeting women and the very poor, including what is known 
        about how such development assistance benefits women.
            (3) The extent to which the United States Agency for 
        International Development has developed a methodology used to 
        ensure compliance with the targeted assistance requirement in 
        section 252(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as 
        amended by section 4 of this Act, and the quality of such 
        methodology.
            (4) The monitoring system required in section 253(b) of the 
        Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as


              

         amended by section 4 of this Act, including the quality of 
        such monitoring system.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 17, 2018.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.