Letter to President Donald Trump - Congressional Women Call on Trump to Keep the White House Council on Women and Girls
Dear President Trump,
As Members of the Democratic Women's Working Group (DWWG), we write to express our concerns regarding the reported disbanding of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Since its inception in 2009, the Council has worked to ensure that agencies take into consideration the needs of women and girls when drafting policies, creating programs, and supporting legislation. Members of the Council are heads of every federal agency and major White House office, which ensures that everyone shares in the responsibility of monitoring policy impacts on women and girls.
When President Obama established the Council, he demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women and girls within the administration. While women have made significant gains in educational attainment and the workforce, inequalities persist that keep families and communities from reaching their full potential. The Council worked to address these issues for the benefit of all Americans.
In 2014, the Council, along with the Office of the Vice President of the United States, helped to establish the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. This Taskforce worked to ensure American colleges and universities are in compliance with federal regulations regarding sexual assault on campuses, and to help foster a safer environment for all students.
Last June, the Council hosted the United State of Women Summit to highlight the advancements women have achieved as well as the obstacles they still face in the United States and abroad. The inaugural event featured Obama administration leadership along with business, political, and community leaders, and focused on educational opportunity, economic empowerment, access to health care, violence against women, business innovation, civic engagement, and more.
In addition to the positive, tangible achievements of the Council, its existence with a dedicated office and staff sends a clear message about an administration's priorities. As former Executive Director Tina Tchen remarked, the office serves as a signal to career staff that they need to consider gaps in equality. The Council also allows an open line of communication between the White House and women's advocacy and policy groups.
Disbanding the office that deals with women's issues erodes efforts for equality and signals that women's issues are not a priority for this administration. Rather than disbanding the Council, we respectfully urge the administration to fully staff the White House Council on Women and Girls.