Former Vice President Joe Biden has released his “Agenda for Women” with the general election under 100 days away.
Biden announced the agenda on Twitter, saying, “The hard truth is women — and particularly women of color — have never had a fair shot to get ahead in this country. That’s why today, I’m releasing my plan to make sure women can fully participate in our economy and country.”
His agenda recognizes the varied and diverse experiences of women, advocating for specific policies that will help LGTBQ+ women, women with disabilities, incarcerated women, women veterans, Native women, and women of color.
The extensive agenda underscores the fact that women’s issues are not limited to reproductive health––minimum wage, paid leave, criminal justice reform, student debt, tuition-free college, immigration policy, and many more are all women’s issues.
Here are the central pillars of his agenda:
Improve economic security
Biden commits to closing the wage gap and ending pay discrimination. Biden will work to address sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in workplaces, advocating for the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace (BE HEARD) Act. He will direct federal funding to women-owned small businesses, especially those owned by women of color.
In his agenda, economic issues are inherently women’s issues. As Biden pushes for tuition-free public college, increased minimum wage, eliminating tipped minimum wage, and alleviating student debt, he will do so with the understanding that these issues disproportionately affect women.
Expand access to health care and tackle health inequities
In addition to maintaining and strengthening the Affordable Care Act, Biden plans to stop state laws violating Roe v. Wade, restore funding to Planned Parenthood, and ensure that all women—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity—have access to quality, affordable health care free from discrimination.
Help women navigate work and families
As the pandemic alters work and home culture, women have carried a great share of the burden juggling the responsibilities of working and also caring for family members. Biden will work to ensure affordable child care for families, providing tax credits to help low-income families pay for the care. He plans to create a national paid family and medical leave program to guarantee up to 12 weeks paid leave, and will push employers to give seven days paid sick leave for all workers.
End violence against women
One of Biden’s top first 100 day priorities will be to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which he championed during his time in Congress. He will support policies to combat the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color and Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and immigrant women.
Protect and empower women around the world
Biden will focus on uplifting the rights of women and girls at home and abroad, by ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), promoting girls’ education in other countries, and confronting gender-based violence globally.
Other structural changes
In his plan, Biden has committed to lead by example when it comes to matters of diversity and inclusion by making sure “his political appointees, including his Cabinet, and our entire federal workforce look like the country they serve.” Biden has pledged to strive for gender parity and full diversity in his national security and foreign policy appointments. In March, he also pledged to have a woman as his running mate, which is expected to be announced sometime in August.
Biden also plans to create a White House Council on Gender Equality, tasked solely with guiding and coordinating government policy that impacts women and girls.
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