President Joe Biden has announced two new orders in an attempt to promote and protect the rights of women, LGBTQ citizens, and students.
According to The Hill, the establishment of a Gender Policy Council is on Biden’s agenda on Monday, March 8. The council within the White House will focus on issues like fighting gender-based discrimination, bias, and violence; increasing economic opportunity; improving access to healthcare; the disproportionate effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on women; and more.
“The council will have an explicit role in both domestic and foreign policy development,” an administration official said on the matter. “We know that the full participation of all people, including women and girls across all aspects of our society, is essential to the economic wellbeing, health and security of our country and of the world.”
Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso, the latter being the chief of staff to first lady Jill Biden, will co-chair the council. They will be joined by four other staffers, this includes a special assistant to the President on gender-based violence and two special assistants on gender policy. In addition, the Biden Administration states that the council will be all-inclusive in the topic of gender. This includes looking at how LGBTQ people are affected by gender bias.
“We are very inclusive in our definition of gender,” Klein said in a White House briefing Monday, according to NPR. “We intend to address all sorts of discrimination and fight for equal rights for people, whether that’s LGBTQ+ people, women, girls, men.”
But that’s not all, Biden also plans to spend a portion of the day signing a second executive order that will review all existing Department of Education regulations. The order hopes to ensure that U.S. students are “[guaranteed] an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
This comes after former Education secretary Betsy Devos introduced a new regulation in 2020. The regulation granted more protections to those accused of sexual assault or harassment, so this new order seems to be an action to correct that regulation and more.
“The [Biden administration] policy that is very clear is that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment that is free from discrimination, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” an administration official said.