According to a report from Politico, it appears that the Trump administration has abandoned the White House Council on Women and Girls.
President Obama established the Council in 2009 for the purpose of reviewing policy proposals in order to safeguard gender equality. In addition, the Council liaised with women’s groups as well as with federal agencies, all with the purpose of encouraging gender equality in areas like pay and healthcare. Originally overseen by Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen, its launch was a reboot of sorts. Former President Bill Clinton had his own iteration, the Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, but that had been previously abandoned by George W. Bush and absorbed into a larger, separate office. While a shuffle isn’t particularly unusual, in the case of the Trump White House, it’s unclear whether or not there will be any iteration of the Council on Women and Girls. The White House says that it’s still in the process of deciding the fate of the Council. “We want the input of the various agencies to understand the assets they have so that we make this office additive, not redundant,” Hope Hicks told Politico.
Initially, it looked as though the Trump administration was going to keep the Council, with Ivanka Trump as its new head. In April, Ivanka and other aides launched a review of the office, promising that it would be completed in May. But the deadline passed and the White House has not indicated if the review is complete or if it has made a decision on the fate of the organization. Maybe it was around then that Ivanka decided that she would “stay out of politics.”
Given the White House’s inaction, it looks like the White House Council on Women and Girls has died a silent death from apathy. But surely, given the president’s track record on gender, including sexual assault allegations and the regular public humiliation of women, this is hardly surprising news.