Media Round Up: Week of January 17th

Happy Friday! Welcome to our Media Round Up. Each week we’re collecting and sharing our favorite gender + politics stories. Here’s what caught our eye this week:

Vice President Harris: A New Chapter Opens in US Politics

Kathleen Ronayne & Alexandra Jaffe, AP News

When Kamala Harris was sworn in on January 20th, she broke an invisible yet palpable barrier that kept women, and even more so women of color, from holding the top ranks of Executive Office. Escorted by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman and sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Harris’ inauguration as the first woman and woman of color Vice President of the United States was nothing short of historic and significant. “Even in dark times we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be,” said Vice President Harris outside of the Lincoln Memorial. “We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”

You can read the full article here.

Record Number of Women to Serve in Biden Cabinet

Aris Folley, The Hill

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has reported that a record number of women are set to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet, making up approximately 48 percent of Cabinet-level positions. A historic 12 women, eight of whom are women of color, are expected to serve in the Cabinet pending confirmations from the Senate. The previous record was held by President Bill Clinton who had nine women serving in his Cabinet during his second term. The record-breaking list of women includes significant firsts, like Deb Haaland who will be the first Native American to serve in the Cabinet and Avril Haines who is the first woman Director of National Intelligence, following her recent Senate confirmation.

You can read the full article here.

Biden announces Rachel Levine as pick for assistant secretary at HHS, would be first transgender Senate-confirmed federal official

Chandelis Duster, CNN

On Tuesday, President Biden announced he’s tapping Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health; if confirmed by the Senate she will be the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate. Levine, who is currently the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, has devoted much of her career to issues involving the opioid crisis, medicinal marijuana, eating disorders and LGBTQ+ medicine. “Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” said President Biden. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

You can read the full article here.

Biden Will Form a Council Dedicated to Policy That Affects Women and Girls

Mariel Padilla, The 19th

The day before the Presidential Inauguration, Joe Biden announced he will be creating a council to target economic and health care burdens impacting women and girls today, which have been intensified by the current global health crisis. The White House Gender Policy Council will be co-led by TIME’S UP chief strategist Jennifer Klein and First Lady’s Chief of Staff Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón in collaboration with other policy councils in the White House. Klein and Reynoso will play key roles in the development of policies on health care, racial justice, economic security, gender-based violence and foreign policy issues that affect women and girls.

You can read the full article here.

Feminists Call For Office of Gender Equity Within the Department of Education

Carrie N. Baker, Ms. Magazine

Over 115 gender rights organizations are urging the Biden-Harris administration to establish an Office for Gender Equity within the Department of Education. The office’s purpose would be to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and undo former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s revised guidelines that removed protections from transgender students and strict protocols around sexual harassment claims, including the requirement for schools to investigate and address these claims. Additionally, advocates for the Gender Equity Office say it should protect the rights of women and women of color and focus on discrimination towards LGBTQ+ students, students who are English language learners, students in poverty and students with disabilities.

You can read the full article here.


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