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Advancing Equality

LEADING THE WAY Jennifer Klein (right), cochair of the Gender Policy Council, appears at the White House with cochair Julissa Reynoso (far left) and White House press secretary Jen Psaki on March 8. KEVIN DIETSCH—UPI/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

March 8 was International Women’s Day. President Joe Biden marked the occasion by signing an executive order that promotes gender equity and equal rights for women and girls.

The order establishes the White House Gender Policy Council. Its job is to ensure that gender equity is a priority in United States government policies. These policies affect people in the U.S. and around the world.

Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso will lead the council. Klein was an adviser to Hillary Clinton when Clinton was First Lady and secretary of state. Reynoso is chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden. Reynoso also served as ambassador to Uruguay under President Barack Obama.

At a press briefing on March 8, Reynoso said the council will work for women’s access to things like healthcare, fair pay, and education. “This is a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness,” she said.

This is not the first office of its kind. Under Obama, it was called the White House Council on Women and Girls. This one has a different name for a reason. “We intend to address all sorts of discrimination,” Klein said, “[and] fight for equal rights for people, whether that’s LGBTQ+ people, women, girls, [or] men.”

Stop and Think! What quotes does the article include? What do these quotes tell you about the Gender Policy Council?