Statement by Women’s Funding Network President and CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román
SAN FRANCISCO — Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced a new White House Council on Gender Policy. Women’s Funding Network President and CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román issued the following statement in response:
“We are very encouraged by President-elect Biden’s decision to create a new office devoted to gender equity and policy. We congratulate the council’s co-chairs, Jen Klein and Julissa Reynoso; we wish them much success and offer our support as they assume their new roles.
“Women’s and girls’ funds, foundations and funders are acutely aware of the need for more programs and government action to address gender disparities. As funders, we have been working tirelessly to support women and girls – especially women and girls of color – who have been disparately impacted by the pandemic because of institutionalized bias and systemic oppression.
“Of course, the council will need to tackle, immediately, the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls. But the pandemic is just one issue of many problems compounded by systemic sexism and racism. We urge the council to tackle more than the traditional “women’s issues” and, instead, employ an intersectional approach to its work.
“We also are especially excited that, today, President-elect Biden has also named a trans woman, Rachel Levine, as assistant secretary of health, which would make her the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Levine’s nomination is in keeping with Biden’s promise to build a cabinet and administration that looks like America.
“We know the importance of having women – especially women of color – at the tables of power where decisions are made. We are heartened that the Biden administration not only is making space for diversity with appointments to existing positions but also is creating new spaces to ensure that women’s and girls’ rights are prioritized. Women’s and girls’ funds, foundations and funders look forward to working with the administration to ensure that the administration benefits from our learnings and that we can partner with them to help deliver on the American promise of equality and justice for all.”