Biden to sign executive orders for gender equity, women’s rights

President Joe Biden seen during a speech in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
March 8 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will sign two executive orders on Monday in recognition of International Women’s Day to support gender equity and equal rights in the United States.

International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated every March 8 since 2011, observes social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide.

Biden’s first executive order establishes the White House Gender Policy Council to ensure that the administration advances gender equity and equal rights and opportunity for women and girls.

The second order directs the Education Department to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance and policy to guarantee education free from sexual violence, the White House said.

“A year into COVID-19, women are still contending with the public health crisis, and ensuing economic crisis, and on top of those challenges, a caregiving crisis,” the White House said in a statement.

“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 Gender Policy Council will play a role in domestic and foreign policy development and work with other policy councils to advance gender equity and equality.

The council will be led by Julissa Reynoso, chief of staff to first lady Jill Biden, and Jennifer Klein, chief strategy and policy officer for the anti-sexual harassment group Time’s Up. It will also produce an annual report to document the council’s progress.

Biden’s second order will instruct the Education Department to evaluate Title IX regulations issued under the Trump administration to ensure they are compatible with the new administration’s policies.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos dismantled Obama-era guidelines for sexual discrimination and harassment at federally-funded education programs.

“Women’s history is American history — and world history,” Biden added in a statement to mark International Women’s Day.

“My administration is committed to honoring women by investing in their opportunity, security, and well-being. … My administration is also committed to ensuring that women are represented equally at all levels of the federal government.”


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