Joe Biden created a gender policy council within the White House as part of two executive orders he signed on Monday to mark International Women’s Day.
The council will include a staff of 4, 3 of whom will hold the title of special assistant to the president, according to a senior administration official who previewed the 2 orders.
“Today, the global crises we now face have made abundantly clear both the contributions of women & the challenges facing women,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in remarks to the European Parliament. “If we build a world that works for women, our nations will all be safer, stronger & more prosperous.”
Council’s mandate is to work across the federal government’s domestic & foreign policy to fight discrimination & bias, boost economic security, increase access to health care, & advance general equality through diplomacy, trade & defense.
The 2nd order asks the Department of Education to re-examine Trump administration policies and rule-making on Title IX, the 1972 law which governs the way sex-based discrimination in schools is handled. The goal, one of the officials said, is to ensure students have 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 Joe Biden knows we need a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of all women & girls in the U.S. & around the world, restoring America as a champion for gender equity,” said one of the officials.
The Barack Obama administration had a White House Council on Women & Girls. The new gender council reflects the idea, one official said, that gender discrimination can happen to people of all genders.