President Biden on Tuesday announced he will ask Congress for "$2.6 billion for foreign aid programs that promote gender equity worldwide, more than double the size of last year's request," The Associated Press reports.
News of the president's planned request conveniently arrived on International Women's Day, "which is set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world."
Last International Women's Day, Biden created the inaugural White House Gender Policy Council to help with gender equity across the administration, per AP.
"Every person deserves the chance to live up to their full God-given potential, without regard for gender or other factors," Biden wrote in a statement. "Improving the status of women and girls strengthens economies, democracies, and societies across the board. That's why I made gender equity a cornerstone of my Administration by creating the White House Gender Policy Council shortly after taking office a year ago."
"And it's why I'm proud that my FY 2023 Budget will request $2.6 billion for foreign assistance programs that promote gender equality worldwide, more than doubling the amount requested for gender programs last year," he continued.
First lady Jill Biden also paid tribute to International Women's Day with a statement and video of her own, honoring the honor "women throughout the world who courageously use their voice, no matter the cost" — including "our sisters from Ukraine who are fighting to keep their country free," and "our sisters in Russia who are protesting and speaking out against the invasion at great personal risk," she said.
The president's $2.6 billion request will be included in his budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, notes AP.