President Biden will request $2.6 billion for foreign assistance programs that promote general equality worldwide, he announced on International Women’s Day on Tuesday. The funds will be part of his fiscal 2023 budget request to Congress and will double the amount requested for gender programs last year. “On this day and every day, let us recognize that all of us have a better future when women and girls can reach their full potential — and together, let’s renew our efforts to advance dignity, equality, and limitless possibilities for all,” Biden said in a statement. The president said International Women’s Day is a time to recognize the achievements of women and girls, celebrate progress, and recommit to work that needs to be done. “Ensuring that every woman and girl has that chance isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a strategic imperative that advances the prosperity, stability, and security of our nation and the world. Yet too often, in too many places, women and girls face obstacles that limit their possibilities and undermine their participation in economic, political, and social life,” Biden said. He noted that barriers women face were exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted women’s labor force participation, showed the burden on caregivers, and increased gender-based violence. Tuesday also marks the one-year anniversary of Biden creating the White House Gender Policy Council through executive order, which is responsible for leading a government-wide effort to advance gender equity and equality in the U.S. and globally.