Biden Orders Creation of Gender Policy Council
Joe Biden’s plan to ring in International Women’s Day includes the signing of two executive orders that will create a White House gender policy council.
The council will include a staff of four, three of whom will hold the title of special assistant to the president, according to a senior administration official who previewed the two orders.
The council’s mandate is to work across the federal government’s domestic and foreign policy to fight discrimination and bias, boost economic security, increase access to health care, and advance general equality through diplomacy, trade and defense.
Biden’s second order will see the Department of Education review Trump-era policies under Title IX, with the goal of making sure students can receive an education “free of sexual violence.”:
The Trump administration also scrapped key Obama-era policies and put forward their rules which, among other items, said transgender students couldn’t use the bathroom consistent with their own gender identities. Biden’s executive order instructs the agency to make sure all policies related to Title IX are consistent with the ethos of the Biden-Harris administration, the official added.
“President Biden knows we need a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of all women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, restoring America as a champion for gender equity,” said one of the officials.
The Trump Administration also made changes to colleges investigate sexual assaults, with former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos accusing former President Barack Obama of creating “kangaroo courts” that failed to provide adequate due process to young men accused of sexual misconduct.
Trump’s changes to the Obama-era rules found surprising support from the other side of the aisle.
“The new system is vastly better and fairer,” said Prof. Janet Halley, who specializes in gender and sexuality at Harvard Law School, said of the rules. “The fact that we’re getting good things from the Trump administration is confusing, but isn’t it better than an unbroken avalanche of bad things?”
“I’m a feminist, but I’m also a defense attorney who recognizes the importance of due process,” said Prof. Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge who opposed the Obama-era rules. “These are fences I’ve straddled all my life.”
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