President Joe Biden will sign on Monday, International Women’s Day, a pair of executive orders “uplifting the rights of women and girls in the United States.”
The orders establish the White House Gender Policy Council (GPC) and directs the Department of Education to review Title IX regulations put in place by the Trump administration, potentially changing how colleges and universities that receive federal funds handle sexual assault and harassment claims.
Senior Biden administration officials framed the second order as guaranteeing “education free from sexual violence.”
The GPC will be co-chaired by Jennifer Klein, a former senior advisor to Hillary Clinton, and Julissa Reynoso, who served as former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Uruguay and is currently the chief of staff to first lady Jill Biden. Both are expected to join White House press secretary Jen Psaki at Monday’s briefing and field questions on the initiative. (RELATED: White House Cites Economists’ Claim That Fixing Racial Inequality Could Add $5 Trillion To The Economy In Next Five Years)
White House officials say the council will report directly to Biden and will deliver a yearly report on the following:
- Combatting systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment
- Increasing economic security and opportunity by addressing the structural barriers to women’s participation in the labor force, decreasing wage and wealth gaps, and addressing the caregiving needs of American families and supporting care workers, predominantly low-paid women of color
- Ensuring access to comprehensive health care and preventing and responding to gender-based violence
- Promoting equity and opportunity in education and leadership
- Advancing gender equality globally through diplomacy, development, trade, and defense, and by recognizing the needs and roles of women and girls in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, democratic rights-respecting governance, global health and humanitarian crises and development assistance
“A year into COVID-19, women are still contending with the public health crisis, an ensuing economic crisis, and on top of those challenges, a caregiving crisis. The pandemic has exacerbated barriers that have held back women, especially women of color, forcing many to leave the workforce, manage virtual schooling, and absorb additional caregiving responsibilities,” the White House said in a statement released Monday morning. “President Biden knows that we need a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of women and girls in the United States and around the world, restoring America as a champion for gender equity and equality.”
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.