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Biden establishes Gender Policy Council with goal of advancing equality

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Washington — President Biden on Monday issued an executive order creating a Gender Policy Council at the White House that aims to advance gender equality throughout the federal government, a move that coincides with International Women's Day.

The executive order establishing the new council is one of two Mr. Biden signed that establishes a focus within the Biden administration on promoting women's rights in the U.S. and worldwide.

Led by two co-chairs, Julissa Reynoso, chief of staff to first lady Jill Biden, and Jennifer Klein, who will also serve as its executive director, the Gender Policy Council will play roles in domestic and foreign policy development, according to the White House. The president said in a statement commemorating International Women's Day that his order creating the council ensures "that every domestic and foreign policy we pursue rests on a foundation of dignity and equity for women."

The White House said the effort "will be an essential part of the Biden-Harris Administration's plan to ensure we build a more equal and just society — by aggressively protecting the rights and unique needs of those who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including individuals who are Black, Latina, Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI+."

The new group will work with others already in existence to advance gender equity and equality, in part by combating systemic bias and discrimination, increasing economic security and pushing equity and opportunity in education.

A second order from Mr. Biden directs the Department of Education to review existing rules and policies, including a Title IX regulation issued under former President Donald Trump regarding how colleges should handle cases of sexual misconduct on campus, "to ensure consistency with the Biden-Harris Administration's policy that students be guaranteed education free from sexual violence." 

"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," Mr. Biden said. "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."

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