Today is Women’s Day and President Joe Biden is ready to sign an executive order that will reverse a weak order by Trump that handled sexual assault in colleges.
The executive order will be signed today, Monday. It comes on the day when Biden is expected to speak on the significance of International Women’s Day. This day acknowledges the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women worldwide.
It will direct the Department of Education to review policies that were implemented by the former president Trump’s administration. It includes changes to be made to the Title IX regulations that prohibit discrimination between sexes in federally funded colleges and institutions.
During his campaign, Biden had promised to look into gender equity and to strengthen Title IX, if he won the elections. Two administrators, who briefed the press on this plan, said that he would also sign a second executive order. The second one would formally establish the White House Gender Policy Council.
In 2018, Betsy Devos, the former president’s education secretary had rescinded an Obama era administration standard in sexual assault cases reported in colleges. These changes by the former secretary diluted the liability of colleges and universities for investigation of these charges. It also gave the accused additional rights including the right to cross examine accusers at campuses through third party advocates. Trump had also broken up the White House Council on Women and Girls, which dealt with women’s issues.
In 2011 as Vice President under President Barack Obama had drafted the legal guidance of the expectations from campuses when they responded to alleged sexual violence. The new order is a resurrection of the Obama one with acknowledgement that all genders can face inequities.
However, the new council will also concentrate on women’s and girl’s issues as they have to overcome “disproportionate barriers.” Some of the key issues include tackling sexual harassment, decrease gender wage and wealth gap, looking at care giving issues that affect women more, addressing gender-based violence and countering the structural barriers in the workplace.