Statement from Vice President Joe Biden on International Women’s Day

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On this International Women’s Day, in 2020, it’s a hard truth that we have not yet reached gender equality in our society. In the same year that we commemorate 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United States and honor the incredible courage and accomplishments of all those who fought and suffered for the vote, too many women in our country remain disenfranchised and disadvantaged. Four years after more than 65 million Americans proudly cast their ballot hoping to elect our first female president, we are fighting for the very soul of our nation and to rid the White House of a man who has fostered misogyny, bigotry, racism, and division all across our country.

There is no question that women are held to different, often higher standards. They often do more and receive less — less pay, less credit, less encouragement. Harassment, intimidation, threats, violence, and the abuse of power are still pervasive. It shouldn’t still be this way, and I promise that, as president, I will use every tool available to me and take every opportunity to push our nation closer to that aspirational American creed — that all of us are equal in rights and dignity, and deserve equal opportunity. I will promote and prioritize the voices of women, including women of color, in my administration, just as I do in my campaign.

Governments, economies, industries, and communities everywhere are made stronger when they include the full participation of women, and the United States must practice what it preaches. My White House and Cabinet will look like America. I have pledged to seek gender parity and full diversity in my national security appointments, and that will be true across my government. We have ample evidence of just how hard it is to break down the entrenched barriers that hold back too many women — but we have an obligation to try with all the strength we have in our hearts. That’s what I will do. And we’ll reclaim America’s leadership to defend and advance women’s rights around the world.

Today, on International Women’s Day, we must recommit ourselves to doing better for women everywhere, not just here in the United States. Women are underrepresented in positions of power in most countries around the world. We lose trillions of dollars each year from the global economy because women are excluded from full participation in the economy. One in three women worldwide will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime; that number is even higher for women with disabilities, indigenous women, and LGBTQ+ women. Globally, 130 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17 are not in school; 1 in 5 girls are likely to marry before she turns 18.

These statistics are bad for women, and they’re bad for all of us. Yet, instead of continuing the progress that President Obama and I led during our Administration, Donald Trump has abandoned American leadership and adopted policies that directly harm women, including some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Trump’s decision to reinstate and expand the global gag rule has had devastating effects on the health and well-being of women around the world, with fewer organizations providing critical healthcare; and his implementation of this rule here in the United States has cut funds to over 900 women’s health clinics that primarily serve women of color. Trump Administration policies have sought to cut funds for global efforts to improve child and maternal health and to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. His Administration’s cruel immigration policies have rejected asylum claims for women fleeing horrific gender-based violence and made it much more difficult for foreign women and girls who were trafficked into the United States to obtain visas and receive the medical and social services they need to recover. He has watered down and threatened to veto UN Security Council resolutions that address sexual violence in conflict, making it far more difficult for the international community to hold the perpetrators of such violence accountable and ensure survivors have access to the health and support services they need.

As president, I will reverse these setbacks and go further to empower women at home and around the world. I will restore America’s role as a champion for women and girls, revitalize our leadership at the United Nations and on the world stage to unlock the potential of half the world’s population, and renew life-saving investments in women’s health. I will ensure that all U.S. efforts amplify the voices of women leaders around the world, who represent some of the most powerful efforts to confront gender inequality and empower women in their societies.

If we are to realize the dream of gender equality, we cannot be disheartened or disengaged. Instead we must recommit to fighting for progress, for our own sake and for the sake of all peoples. That starts by making sure Donald Trump is not reelected.

Senator, Vice President, 2020 candidate for President, husband to Jill, proud father and grandfather. Join our campaign:

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