“The council is an absolutely critical first step.”
— Hillary Rodham Clinton
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President Biden will sign an executive order on Monday — International Women’s Day — establishing a Gender Policy Council in the White House that will seek to advance gender equality in both domestic and foreign policy across government. The council will report directly to the president, making it the most powerful body of its kind to date.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and an economic downturn, the Gender Policy Council will play a critical role in pushing forward Mr. Biden’s agenda, signifying a sharp departure from the past four years when the Trump administration effectively sidelined women’s issues.
Leading the effort will be two co-chairs: Jennifer Klein, who served as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was first lady and secretary of state; and Julissa Reynoso, who served as ambassador to Uruguay during the Obama administration.
the first interview that she and Ms. Reynoso had given since being appointed as co-chairs. “It’s a plan to take a governmentwide approach to gender equity and equality.”
Almost every cabinet secretary will be required to participate with the council, signaling that the council’s work is of top priority for every federal agency and that it will touch on many issues like national security, health care and economics.
The secretaries will also be required to designate a senior official within their agencies who will collaborate directly with the council to advance gender equity work, both on their teams and when crafting new policies.
“Part of the thinking is to have senior officials who can oversee each respective agency’s work towards advancing gender equity and equality,” Ms. Reynoso said in the interview.
a phone interview last month. “It sends a very clear policy message to the rest of government that there is going to be constant attention paid to how important it is to integrate the kinds of concerns women are facing, especially post-pandemic.”