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Biden signs executive order creating Gender Policy Council to combat 'systemic bias and discrimination'

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The council will implement a 'government-wide strategy' to address gender inequality

Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Joe Biden is set to sign two more executive orders aimed at promoting gender equality both in the United States and around the world on Monday, in recognition of International Women's Day. The first order will create a new program within the executive branch of government called the Gender Policy Council, and the second seeks to roll back Title IX changes made during Donald Trump's presidency.

By issuing two more orders, Biden will add to the already historic number of executive orders and actions signed during the first months of his presidency. The new president has issued a litany of orders and actions since taking office in late January, despite denouncing the tactic while on the campaign trail.

The forthcoming Gender Policy Council will be established within the Executive Office of the President, according to a fact sheet published by the White House, and will work toward advancing "gender equity and equal rights and opportunity for women and girls" both domestically and globally through governmental policy changes.

The council will reportedly aim to combat "systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment" of women, address "structural barriers to women's participation in the labor force," decrease "wage and wealth gaps," among several other actions.

"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 announced in the news release.

As a part of the effort, co-chairs of the council will be required to submit to the president their recommendations for a "government-wide strategy to address gender in policies, programs and budgets, and an annual report to measure progress on implementing the strategy."

With the second order, Biden will direct the Department of Education to "review all of its existing regulations, orders, guidance, and policies" especially as it relates to Title IX changes implemented by the Trump administration, including a change that affected how public colleges and universities handled sexual assault accusations on campus.

The Associated Press reported that under Trump, the department "rescinded an Obama-era administration standard in cases of reported sexual assault from requiring a 'preponderance of evidence' — meaning it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred — to 'clear and convincing evidence.'"

Biden likely seeks to restructure that regulation or reimplement the Obama-era guidance.

The orders are sure to please much of Biden's base of supporters; however, it is not yet clear how some of his more hard-line progressive supporters will feel about the administration's explicit support for the gender binary.

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