Is Biden right to create a Gender Policy Council?
- President Joe Biden has signed over 50 executive orders since inauguration day on January 20, 2020, some being, rejoining both the WHO and Paris Agreement, creating a COVID-19 committee and testing board, and expanding protection for LGBTQ people globally.
- On Monday, March 8, Biden signed an order establishing a Gender Policy Council to support women’s rights, promote gender equality in leadership, empower girls, research the effects of the pandemic on gender differences, among others.
- The reinstated council was once called the White House Council on Women and Girls under former President Obama’s administration, but set aside during Trump’s administration. The name change is deliberate as the White House stated, “We intend to address all sorts of discrimination and fight for equal rights for people, whether that’s LGBTQ+ people, women, girls, men.”
- The US female population has increased by 9.6 million between 2010-2019. The US Census Bureau recorded the population of US males as 151.8 million to 157 million females in 2010. In 2019, the population of males rose to 161.6 million with women still surpassing with 166.6 million.
One mark of an excellent leader is their ability to bring together experts to tackle complicated issues and then listen to what they have to say. In this spirit, President Biden is right to form a Gender Policy Council. As we look toward the end of the pandemic, this current moment is an especially poignant time for the council's creation as women have absorbed more job losses during the pandemic while also assuming more of the caregiving burden at home.
Thorny issues are often best approached by experts, who can look at the problem from a number of angles. Experts and academics who will largely be working out of the limelight can address the issues with facts and science-based reason. In this way, the Gender Policy Council will have a significant advantage over politicians when it comes to advocating for equality; they serve facts, not the court of public opinion. While politicians might attempt to spin the issues for personal gain, the Gender Policy Council can quietly do its work and affect real change.
The name, Gender Policy Council, as opposed to previous councils such as the Obama era's Council on Women and Girls, is significant because it shows that the council will be inclusive with its definitions of gender, working to advance equality for all individuals, including trans and LGBTQ+ people. Council co-chair, Jennifer Klein, has said that 'policies to advance equity for Black, indigenous and Latina women and girls of color' will receive special focus. This emphasis shows that the Biden administration is taking the task of bringing true equality to all people seriously.
President Biden's new 'Gender Policy Council' is completely unnecessary, given that women in the modern world arguably already have the same rights as men, especially in westernized societies such as the United States. There is, of course, room for improvement for the lives of women in underdeveloped countries where they are blatant victims of discrimination and torture, yet the council appears to focus on women in the US solely.
Creating a new organization specifically dedicated to women's rights may have a similarly counterintuitive result as other equality groups such as Black Lives Matter: division. Treating and viewing women and minorities further perpetuates inequality by treating them like second-class citizens who need help. The council is also highly sexist in nature. Those on the council have claimed that it will address all people: 'women, girls, men;' however, it can only be expected under a progressive administration that it will more than likely ignore men's issues, including males from minority groups, which is anything but unifying.
Like any idealistic political move promises, the council has worthy goals of 'combat[ing] systemic bias and discrimination,' working against 'wage and wealth gaps,' dealing with sexual assault on campus, and others. However, it has so far failed to address exactly how this would be carried out.
Of course, the recently revealed policy wouldn't be complete in fulfilling societal, political correctness without considering its timing, as it was revealed in celebration of 'International Women's Day.' Considering how the council will include protections for the 'LGBTQI+' community (a controversy in itself) demonstrates the current administration may be taking the equality mission too far already.