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Deconstructing Trump’s Construction Plans

“We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor,” said President Trump, in his inaugural address, referring to his plans to invest in infrastructure spending. As with many of his proclamations, it is yet unclear what this means in policy and practice but it is worth looking at some of the possible implications for gender equity.

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Criminalizing Gender Diversity

The growing Trump Cabinet poses several concerns for gender equality and the recognition and support of gender diversity[i]. Many Americans are especially dismayed by the nomination of Cabinet members with a recorded history of anti-LGBTQ statements, business practices, and Congressional votes. For gender-based criminal justice policies, such as hate crime laws and anti-transgender “bathroom bills,” the confirmations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, III and Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price have important implications.

The Making of a Removable Alien

On Tuesday (February 21), the Trump administration issued a pair of memos outlining a more aggressive stance on immigration enforcement. These memos followed January 25th and January 30th, 2017 executive orders related to immigration. Executive Order 13676 is titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, and the second, Executive Order 13769 is titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” These actions have already had major implications for immigrant communities across the United States. A lesser known aspect of the efforts are their dangerous implications for TransLatinas.

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Health reform and women: the road ahead

Repeal. Replace. Repair. Whatever shape the next iteration of policy change takes in health, it will affect every American. Health is an everyday experience, and the trials of accessing health care services and the importance of health insurance coverage touches every American life. Another reality of health care in America is that it is experienced differently by women and men. Sex differences in health care utilization are well documented. These differences are driven by a range of factors that may also influence how health care policies applied broadly affect men and women differently.

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The Prison Rape Elimination Act and the Limits of Liberal Reform

In 1996, the suicide of a young Texas man named Rodney Hulin, Jr. in the wake of multiple sexual assaults partially spurred Congress to unanimously pass the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The purpose of the nation’s first federal civil law addressing sexual violence behind bars was to call for nationwide data collection on the problem of prisoner rape and federal grants to help states combat it within prisons, jails, police lockups, youth facilities, immigration detention facilities, and community corrections. While PREA was developed with good intentions by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC) in concert with prisoner rights’ advocates from across the country, and has been lauded by the American Civil Liberties Union and Just Detention International, it falls far short of what is needed to protect all prisoners, especially women, people of color, transgender individuals, and disabled people.

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Food Stamp Work Requirements and the Implications of Devolution

On January 23, 2017, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker announced a new pilot program to require the state’s food stamp recipients who have children to work 80 hours per month for those benefits. The change would require approval from the Trump Administration, since federal policy currently prohibits states from imposing additional requirements on food stamp recipients. Unlike the Obama administration, which utilized those policies to protect and expand access to this and other programs, President Trump has signaled his intention to weaken those guidelines or eliminate them completely.