WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ACT OF 2018; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 200
(Senate - December 19, 2018)

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[Pages S7863-S7865]
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     WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ACT OF 2018

  Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 683, S. 3247.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3247) 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.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill, 
which had been reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations, with 
an amendment to strike all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

     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.
       (2) 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 family 
     financial resiliency.
       (3) A 2016 report by the McKinsey Global Institute 
     estimated that achieving global gender parity in economic 
     activity could add as much as $28,000,000,000,000 to annual 
     global gross domestic product by 2025.
       (4) Lack of access to financial services that address 
     gender-specific constraints impedes women's economic 
     inclusion. Roughly 1,000,000,000 women around the world are 
     currently left out of the formal financial system, which 
     causes many women to rely on informal means of saving and 
     borrowing that are riskier and less reliable.
       (5) Among other consequences, this lack of access hampers 
     the success of women entrepreneurs, including women who are 
     seeking to run or grow small and medium-sized enterprises. 
     The International Finance Corporation has estimated that 70 
     percent of women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in 
     the formal sector are unserved or underserved in terms of 
     access to financial services, resulting in a financing gap of 
     $300,000,000,000 for women-owned small businesses.
       (6) 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, including--
       (A) living lives free of violence and exploitation;
       (B) achieving the highest possible standard of health and 
     well-being;
       (C) enjoying full legal and human rights, such as access to 
     registration, identification, and citizenship documents;
       (D) benefitting from formal and informal education;
       (E) equal protection of and access to land and property 
     rights;
       (F) access to fundamental labor rights;
       (G) policies to address disproportionate care burdens; and
       (H) business and management skills and leadership 
     opportunities.
       (7) Discriminatory legal and regulatory systems and banking 
     practices are obstacles to women's access to capital and 
     assets, including land, machinery, production facilities, 
     technology, and human resources. These barriers are often 
     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.
       (8) Savings groups primarily comprised of women are 
     recognized as a vital entry point, especially for poor and 
     very poor women, to formal financial services. There is a 
     high demand for such groups to protect and grow the savings 
     of women with formal financial institutions.
       (9) Evidence shows that, once a saving group is linked to a 
     bank, the average savings per member increases between 40 to 
     100 percent and the average profit per member doubles. 
     Investing in financial literacy, business leadership 
     training, and mentorship are key elements to these outcomes.
       (10) 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.
       (11) 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 small and medium-sized 
     enterprises in between, which are critical to driving 
     economic growth in developing countries.
       (12) According to the World Bank, small and medium-sized 
     enterprises create 4 out of 5 new positions in emerging 
     markets, but approximately 50 percent of formal small and 
     medium-sized enterprises lack 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 in 
     emerging markets lack access to credit.

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

       (a) Gender Analysis Defined.--In this section, the term 
     ``gender analysis''--
       (1) means a socioeconomic analysis of available or gathered 
     quantitative and qualitative information to identify, 
     understand, and explain

[[Page S7864]]

     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, 
     education, opportunities, and services;
       (B) the influence of gender roles, structural barriers, and 
     norms on the division of time between paid employment, unpaid 
     work (including the 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.
       (b) International Development Cooperation Policy.--It shall 
     be the international development cooperation policy of the 
     United States--
       (1) to reduce gender disparities with respect to economic, 
     social, political, educational, and cultural resources, 
     wealth, opportunities, and services;
       (2) to strive to eliminate gender-based violence and 
     mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities 
     including through efforts to develop standards and capacity 
     to reduce gender-based violence in the workplace and other 
     places where women work;
       (3) to support activities that secure private property 
     rights and land tenure for women in developing countries, 
     including--
       (A) legal frameworks that give women equal rights to own, 
     register, use, profit from, and inherit land and property;
       (B) improving legal literacy to enable women to exercise 
     the rights described in subparagraph (A); and
       (C) improving the capacity of law enforcement and community 
     leaders to enforce such rights;
       (4) to increase the capability of women and girls to fully 
     exercise their rights, determine their life outcomes, assume 
     leadership roles, and influence decision-making in 
     households, communities, and societies; and
       (5) to improve the access of women and girls to education, 
     particularly higher education opportunities in business, 
     finance, and management, in order to enhance financial 
     literacy and business development, management, and strategy 
     skills.
       (c) Actions.--In order to advance the policy described in 
     subsection (b), 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;
       (2) standard indicators are used to assess such strategies, 
     projects, and activities, if applicable; and
       (3) gender equality and female empowerment are integrated 
     throughout the Agency's program cycle and related processes 
     for purposes of strategic planning, project design and 
     implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

     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 enterprises'';
       (B) by striking ``and in the development'' and inserting 
     ``, in the development''; and
       (C) by inserting ``, and in the economic empowerment of the 
     poor, especially women'' before the period at the end;
       (2) in paragraph (2)--
       (A) by striking ``microenterprise'' and inserting ``micro, 
     small, and medium-sized enterprises''; and
       (B) by inserting ``, particularly enterprises owned, 
     managed, and controlled by women'' before the period at the 
     end;
       (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 should'' and 
     inserting ``development assistance for micro, small, and 
     medium-sized enterprises should''; 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--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
     ``credit, savings, and other services to microfinance and 
     microenterprise clients'' and inserting ``credit, including 
     the use of innovative credit scoring models, savings, 
     financial technology, financial literacy, education, 
     insurance, property rights, and other services to 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 clients owned, 
     managed, and controlled by women'';
       (C) in paragraph (2), by striking ``microenterprises'' and 
     inserting ``micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises'';
       (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, financial literacy, skills training, 
     and asset transfers.'';
       (2) in subsection (b)--
       (A) by amending 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) by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:
       ``(B) Use of central funding mechanisms.--In order to 
     ensure that assistance under this title is distributed 
     effectively and efficiently, 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
       (ii) in subparagraph (C), in the matter preceding clause 
     (i)--

       (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); and
       (3) in subsection (c), by striking ``subsection (a), 50 
     percent of all microenterprise resources'' and all that 
     follows and inserting the following: ``subsection (a)--
       ``(1) 50 percent of all micro, small, and medium-sized 
     enterprise resources shall be targeted to activities that 
     reach the very poor; and
       ``(2) 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, education, 
     enterprise development, earnings and control over income, and 
     property and land rights,'' after ``performance goals'';
       (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``include performance 
     indicators to be used in measuring or assessing 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 1 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)--
       (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
     ``microenterprise households lacking

[[Page S7865]]

     full access to credit'' and inserting ``micro, small, and 
     medium-sized enterprises and households lacking full access 
     to credit and other financial services''; and
       (B) in paragraphs (1) and (2), by striking ``microfinance 
     institutions'' each place such term appears and inserting 
     ``financial intermediaries'';
       (4) in subsection (c), in the matter preceding paragraph 
     (1), by striking ``microfinance institutions'' and inserting 
     ``financial intermediaries''; and
       (5) in subsections (c) and (d), by striking 
     ``microenterprise households'' each place such term appears 
     and inserting ``micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises 
     and households''.
       (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) --
       (A) by striking ``Administrator'' and inserting 
     ``President'';
       (B) by striking ``United States-supported microfinance 
     institutions'' and inserting ``United States-supported 
     financial intermediaries''; and
       (2) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``United States-supported 
     microfinance institutions'' each place such term 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.--Section 258(b) of the Foreign 
     Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2214(b)) is amended to read 
     as follows:
       ``(b) Contents.--To the extent practicable, the report 
     submitted under subsection (a) 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 under subsection (c) of such 
     section.
       ``(2) The percentage of assistance provided under section 
     252, disaggregated by income level, including for the very 
     poor, and by gender.
       ``(3) The estimated number of individuals that received 
     assistance under section 252, disaggregated by income level 
     (or an appropriate proxy for income level, including for the 
     very poor), by gender, and by type of assistance.
       ``(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 of the House of Representatives'' and 
     inserting ``Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
     Representatives'';
       (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, or medium-sized 
     enterprise institution''; and
       (B) in subparagraph (F), by striking ``microfinance 
     institution'' and inserting ``financial intermediary'';
       (4) by striking paragraphs (7) and (8) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(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.
       ``(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.'';
       (5) by striking paragraph (9);
       (6) by redesignating paragraphs (10) through (14) as 
     paragraphs (9) through (13), respectively;
       (7) in paragraph (9), as redesignated, by striking ``of 
     microenterprise development'';
       (8) by amending paragraph (10), as redesignated, to read as 
     follows:
       ``(10) Practitioner institution.--The term `practitioner 
     institution' means a not-for-profit entity, a financial 
     intermediary, an 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.'';
       (9) in paragraph (12), as redesignated--
       (A) in the paragraph 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''; and
       (10) in paragraph (13), as redesignated, by amending 
     subparagraph (B) 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 (22 
     U.S.C. 2211 et seq.) 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 THE 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 a report to the Committee on Foreign 
     Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
     Foreign Relations of the Senate regarding 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 
     subsection (a) shall be posted and made available on a text-
     based, searchable, and publicly-available internet website.

     SEC. 6. REPORT BY THE 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 a report to the Committee on 
     Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate regarding 
     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 to 
     ensure compliance with the targeted assistance requirement 
     under section 252(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 
     as amended by section 4(b)(3), and the quality of such 
     methodology.
       (4) The monitoring system required under section 253(b) of 
     the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by section 
     4(c), including the quality, appropriateness, and feasibility 
     of such monitoring system.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. I ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported 
amendment be agreed to and that the bill, as amended, be considered 
read a third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The committee-reported amendment was agreed to.
  The bill, as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading 
and was read the third time.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. I know of no further debate on the bill, as amended.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there is no further debate, the question 
is, Shall the bill pass?
  The bill (S. 3247), as amended, was passed.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the motion 
to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________