According to administration officials, US President Joe Biden on Monday issues an order to review the policy on combating sexual violence in higher education institutions and creates a Council on Gender Policy at the White House.
“The full participation of all people, including women and girls, in all aspects of our society is essential for the economic well–being, health and security of our country and the world,” the White House said in a press release. – This is a question of human rights, justice, and justice. It is also critical to reduce poverty, promote economic growth, expand access to education, improve health outcomes, promote political stability, and strengthen democracy.”
One of the presidential executive orders that Biden signs on Monday instructs the Department of Education to review existing rules, orders, and instructions “to ensure compliance with the administration’s policy of ensuring the absence of sexual violence in the educational sphere,” according to a press release.
In 2017, the Trump administration repealed earlier directives that spelled out recommended measures to prevent sexual harassment on university campuses. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos argued that the directives passed under Barack Obama led to students being too often falsely accused and unfairly treated.
In May 2020, DeVos submitted updated recommendations, and Biden’s executive order directs them to be reviewed for compliance with the current administration’s policies.
The second executive order formally establishes the White House Gender Equality Council.
According to a White House press release, the council will be part of an “interagency initiative to strengthen the rights of women and girls in the United States and around the world.”
The council will be headed by Jennifer Klein of the anti-sexual harassment organization Time’s up and lawyer Julissa Reynoso, who previously worked as a diplomat and deputy Assistant Secretary of State under the Obama administration.
During the campaign, Biden promised to reduce the wage gap between men and women, invest in women-owned businesses, and fight discrimination in the workplace. Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold the post.
The Council, along with other agencies, will work to remove “barriers to women’s participation in the labor force, narrow the wage and wealth gap, and meet the needs of American families for the care and support of social workers,” the press release said.
By January, women accounted for just over half of the 10 million jobs lost during the pandemic crisis, although they usually make up just under half of the workforce.
Between February 2020 and January this year, more than 2.5 million women and 1.8 million men dropped out of the workforce.
Biden will instruct the board to develop an “interagency strategy to address gender issues in the context of policies, programs, and budget decisions” and to report on the results for the year, the White House said.