Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday delivered a speech for International Women’s Day in which she said “our world does not yet work for women as it should.”
“Today the global crises have made abundantly clear both the contributions of women and the challenges facing women,” Harris, the U.S.’s first female vice president, said in her remarks.
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“Simply put: Our world does not yet work for women as it should,” the vice president continued. “COVID-19 has threatened the health, economic security, and physical security of women everywhere. The pandemic has overloaded healthcare systems, making it even harder for women to access the care they need.”
“Women comprise 70 percent of the global health workforce, putting them on the front lines and at risk of contracting the virus,” she added.
In honor of International Women’s Day, President Joe Biden will sign two executive orders that aim to boost “gender equality.”
Biden’s orders will establish a White House “Gender Policy Council” designed to tackle issues such as sexual harassment and equal pay. Further, the council will focus on “intersecting forms of discrimination,” including people who identify as “LGBTQI+”.
“The White House Gender Policy Council 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 White House said in a statement.
“This is a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness,” the statement added.
Biden’s second order will direct the Department of Education to review policies as part of an effort to protect students from sexual violence.