Washington, D.C. — Today, the White House Gender Policy Council issued a national strategy on gender equity and equality, which lays out a governmentwide approach to center an inclusive understanding of gender in the administration’s work and advance gender equity and equality. Jocelyn Frye, a senior fellow with CAP’s Women’s Initiative, released the following statement:
This blueprint recognizes a fundamental truth: Although women are integral to our economy and society, their status is at a crossroads. A whole-of-government approach is needed to secure their rights and strengthen the United States by maximizing their inclusion.
Women have been on the front lines of sustaining their communities as essential workers and family caregivers throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting their health and economic opportunities at risk. Importantly, the Build Back Better agenda proposed by President Joe Biden would take critical steps forward to address many of the gaps in our society that led to massive jobs losses for women and has resulted in more than 2.5 million fewer women in jobs than before the pandemic.
This decline is an enormous setback for women’s labor force participation and makes clear the policy gaps that sorely need to be filled, from expanding access to paid leave and child care to closing the Medicaid coverage gap. All of these policies would also make significant strides toward advancing women of color, which is why it is so urgent for Congress to pass the plan as quickly as possible.
This national strategy also recognizes the unique threats confronting women in the face of endless state attacks that threaten their constitutional right to access abortion and potentially other constitutional protections, which would turn back the clock on decades of progress. Finally, the plan recognizes the threats of gender-based violence to women’s safety at home and abroad, a longstanding problem that has been exacerbated during the economic strife brought on by the pandemic.
We look forward to partnering with the administration on turning this bold vision into reality.
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