Administration

Biden argues gender equality benefits everybody to mark Women’s History Month

President Biden on Tuesday marked Women’s History Month with an event at the White House to promote gender equality and equal pay.

“Gender equality is not a women’s issue alone. It benefits everybody and that’s a fact, it benefits everyone. Our society, our economy, and our country,” Biden said in his remarks.

He called out the female members of his administration, including Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Small Business Administration head Isabel Guzman, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and Cecelia Rouse, the chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Vice President Harris did not attend the event because her husband, Doug Emhoff, tested positive for COVID-19.

“Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor the legacy, the vision and the achievements of trailblazing women and girls who built, shaped and strengthened the very character of his nation,” Biden said. 

Additionally, he honored Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Interior Secretary Deb Halaand, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and the newly confirmed Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.

Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team also attended the event. Earlier on Tuesday, they participated in an event with Harris to mark Equal Pay Day. 

“Today, I’m honored to be with some of the worlds’ greatest soccer players who happen to be women. The U.S. women’s national team, both past and present,” Biden said. “They’ve won World Cups, the Olympics, gold medals, and after much, much, much too long, equal pay.”

The U.S. women’s national team filed an equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which was settled in February for $24 million.

The Biden administration on Tuesday proposed regulation that would prevent federal agencies from using a job applicant’s prior salary history in the hiring process, and Biden will sign an executive order on pay equity and transparency for federal contractors. 

Biden invited guests in Tuesday evening to see the Women’s History Month display at the White House, which includes Toni Morrison, who he said is one of the first lady Jill Biden’s favorite authors.

“Ms. Morrison left us words to live by. She said, ‘we’ve got more yesterdays than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow. We need some kind of tomorrow,’” Biden said.

“Downstairs there’s a display honoring Toni Morrison and that singular belief in tomorrow. The singular belief that in America, anything is possible,” he added.

The first lady followed the president’s remarks and honored her mother, who she said always cheered her on. 

“We’re all here today because someone believed in us,” she said. “Because someone taught us to be brave. And we are here to be those women for someone else.”

Tags Avril Haines Doug Emhoff Gina Raimondo Isabel Guzman Janet Yellen Jennifer Granholm Jill Biden Joe Biden Katherine Tai Linda Thomas-Greenfield Marcia Fudge Shalanda Young

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