Names Co-Chairs for White House Gender Policy Council
THE AFRICA BAZAAR STAFF
January 19, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a new independent White House Gender Policy Council that will advise and synchronize his administration’s agenda on tackling gender equality related issues, underscoring it as central to its overall policies, both domestic and foreign.
The President-elect also named Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso Co-Chairs of the advisory council. The pair will lead a team tasked with enhancing policies on issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy across all government agencies and the other White House policy councils to help elevate the lives and livelihood of women and girls, globally.
Both Klein and Reynoso are experienced leaders. Klein, a gender equality veteran for more than two decades, is the Chief Strategy and Policy Officer at TIME’S UP and has taught as well as worked on gender equality, both in public and private sectors and civil society. Reynoso, who is also the incoming Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden was a partner at the law firm of Winston & Strawn. She served in the Obama-Biden administration as U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere at the State Department.
Experts from the international community and gender equality advocates lauded the creation of the council as a significant step toward realizing gender equality goals, globally. Last year marked the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage, the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional rights to vote.
“From health care, the economy, education, and national security — every issue is a women’s issue,” said incoming Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Ambassador Susan Rice.
While working interagency in partnership with the Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, and the National Security Council, and other units, the council also plans to partner with outside agencies, non profit organizations, civil society and the private sector to execute its main objective of advancing and uplifting the rights of girls and women in the United States and around the world to ensure equal rights and opportunities, and restoring America as a champion for women and girls.
President-elect Biden, who pledged during his presidential campaign to make gender equality, diversity and inclusion top priorities of his administration agenda said in a statement that the work of the “council is going to be critical to ensuring we build our nation back better by getting closer to equality for women and to the full inclusion of women in our economy and our society.”
“Too many women are struggling to make ends meet and support their families, and too many are lying awake at night worried about their children’s economic future. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current global public health crisis has made these burdens infinitely heavier for women all over this country,” Biden said.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the first female U.S. vice president as well as the first black American and South Asian elected to serve in that role underscored the significance of establishing the council and opening up opportunities for marginalized voices to be heard within the government. “All Americans deserve a fair shot to get ahead, including women whose voices have not always been heard. Our administration will pursue a comprehensive plan to open up opportunity and uphold the rights of women in our nation and around the world,” she said.