Dear Mr. President and Madam Vice President, We, the undersigned organizations, care deeply about advancing gender equity and equality around the world and are writing to express our appreciation for the steps your administration has taken in your first 50 days to signal the United States’ renewed leadership on this issue. In particular, we are pleased to see early action on announcing the co-chairs of the new White House Gender Policy Council and were excited to see its official establishment by Executive Order on International Women’s Day. We also applaud the U.S. decision to re-engage immediately with the UN Human Rights Council and to seek a seat on the Council at the first opportunity, as well as the announcement that Vice President Harris will provide remarks during the UN Commission on the Status of Women next week.
Advancing gender equity and equality for all women and girls, as well as those in the LGBTQI+ community and individuals with disabilities, is first and foremost a matter of human rights and should be a goal in and of itself. It is also a necessary precondition for achieving key U.S. foreign policy objectives. We urge your Administration to ensure gender equity and equality are key tenets of U.S. foreign policy and assistance efforts through urgently taking the below critical actions:
- Announce unprecedented strong support in your first budget proposal to Congress with robust funding for gender equity and equality programs around the world, including significantly increasing funds to directly support women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights organizations;
- Announce your plan to appoint a Senior Gender Coordinator to the National Security Council to ensure that gender equity and equality issues are addressed at our nation’s most critical foreign policy making table; and,
- Announce your intention to appoint a foreign policy task force and staff lead for the new White House Gender Policy Council to ensure that the power of your office is brought to bear on gender issues everywhere, not just within the United States.