Biden-Harris Gender Policy Council

By Emma Gilham

On the eve of the inauguration, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced that their administration was instating a Gender Policy Council to guide the government in uplifting women, especially the most marginalized. It is no secret that women have economically suffered during the pandemic. Jenny Singer wrote in Glamour’s “ The Biden-Harris White House Plans to ‘Restore America as a Champion for Women and Girls”: “American women lost more than 5 million jobs in 2020. Mothers of small children were three times more likely to have lost jobs during this time than their male counterparts, Pew Research found.”

Hopefully, this council will help to close the intense gap between men and women that has been widening for years. Co-chairing the council is Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. Many remember the TIME’S UP movement against sexual assault and harassment that swept Hollywood in 2018, but few may know that Klein was a chief strategy and policy officer for the movement. Reynoso is chief of staff for First Lady Dr. Biden, and assistant to the President. It seems that the council has committed to a comprehensive understanding of achieving gender equity. The press release explained that the council will “guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, working in cooperation with the other White House policy councils.” Some may consider this council unnecessary in this day and age, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If the council is effective, the policy changes could help minimize the pay gap between men and women, specifically between white men and Black and Latinx women. It could create more safe, well-paying jobs for women and prioritize women’s health in the government’s scope of issues. President Biden stated,“Too many women are struggling to make ends meet and support their families, and too many are lying awake at night worried about their children’s economic future. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current global public health crisis has made these burdens infinitely heavier for women all over this country.” 

References

https://19thnews.org/2021/01/white-house-gender-policy-council-jennifer-klein-julissa-reynoso/

https://www.glamour.com/story/the-biden-harris-white-house-plans-to-restore-america-as-a-champion-for-women-and-girls