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Biden’s path to gender equality

On Monday 8/3/21 President Joe Biden signed two executive orders. The orders establish the White House Gender Policy Council and address sexual violence in the education field. At the same time the President improved the controversial Title IX provisions* that were introduced during the Trump administration.

Conveniently, the orders were signed on International Women's day. They specifically direct to the initiation of gender equality and justice within the federal government. Thus, the order is centered on the changes that took place during the Trump administration under Betsy DeVos, former Education Secretary. She strengthened the protection of students who are accused of sexual assault and restricted the definition of “sexual harassment” to conduct “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” it “denies a person equal access to the school's education program or activity.” In simpler words she made it easier to get away with sexual assault and legal to denie a person access to education.

The current Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was asked to go over the actions the former administration made and overhaul the ones that go against Biden’s policy which states “that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex,” (sexual harassment and discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity are also included).

Biden issued a statement that reads; “Elevating the status of women and girls globally is the right thing to do—it is a matter of justice, fairness and decency, and it will lead to a better, more secure and more prosperous world for us all. On International Women’s Day, let us recommit to the principle that our nation, and the world, is at its best when the possibilities for all of our women and girls are limitless.”

To back the orders that were signed Reynoso, chief of staff, said; "As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic and reckons with the scourge of systemic racism and discrimination, President Biden knows that we need a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of all women and girls,".

Overall, Biden’s orders restore the ones Obama made in his presidency but were cancelled under the Trump administration. It looks like the newly-elected President aims to establish gender equality once and for all and protect the ones that have been wronged.

*Title IX (title 9) provisions make it illegal to “discriminate against a person on the basis of sex in any federally funded activity.



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