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Re-Emerging Nationality and Gender Preferences in Trump’s Refugee Policy Rollback

by Sara L. McKinnon September 28, 2017   With yet another announcement of changes to the U.S. refugee program, it is necessary to assess the program and what Trump’s policy changes will likely mean in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, including their specific implications for women. The passage of the 1980 Refugee Act […]

The Women, Peace and Security Agenda Under the Trump Administration: Undercutting Advances with a Return to Masculine Militarism

by Barbara Frey and Lindsey Greising September 28, 2017 President Trump’s bombastic first speech to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 19 is yet another signal that the current U.S. administration is much more focused on war than on peace.  Threats to “totally destroy North Korea” as well as the tossing aside of a […]

Too Costly? The Fight for Trans Health Care in the Courts and Legislature

While trans health care costs have not been proven to be particularly financially burdensome to insurance providers, any money spent on gender transition is generally considered an inappropriate use of federal funds. In this way, restrictions on publicly-funded trans health care mirror another policy, the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which restricts access to abortions for public health insurance recipients. The justifications come in similar packages: tax-payers should not foot the bill for morally questionable medical procedures.

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Strengthen, Not Dismantle, Title IX

Those Title IX guidelines are under fire from the Trump administration, however. Spearheading this effort is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who last Thursday gave a speech at George Mason University where she called for a dramatic restructuring of the program, saying it has “failed many students.” After DeVos’ speech on Thursday, some commentators applauded the Department of Education’s new direction. Andrew Miltenberg, a defense attorney for many students who have been defendants in Title IX proceedings, said, “Title IX was meant to be a tool for fairness, not a means for colleges and universities to micromanage students’ sex lives.” To characterize the critically important provision of resources and responses to sexual assault survivors on campus through Title IX as universities “micromanaging student sex lives” is an example of how the rhetoric of the Trump administration has obscured acts of violence and distorted Obama-era policies, minimizing sexual violence and the impact it has on survivors.

Women in Prison: A Small Population Requiring Unique Policy Solutions

It is easy to overlook the presence of women in our prison system. After all, in Minnesota, women account for just over 7% of the prison population, a mere 737 individuals. And the same is true across the country, with women comprising just 7% of the estimated 1.53 million people held in state and federal correctional facilities. Given these small numbers, the path to reducing mass incarceration is generally framed through its impacts on men. Fewer researchers work on questions such as whether the reasons women are imprisoned are unique, whether their rehabilitative needs are different, or whether the experience of prison impacts their outcomes differently than it does men.

Food Stamps and Food Rights

Recent federal proposals to gut SNAP benefits and states’ calls to add paid employment and drug-testing as eligibility determinants are nothing new. They reflect longstanding concerns with dependence, waste, and fraud, as well as anxiety that black people, indigenous Americans, and immigrants might rise above abject status. They also reveal a widespread and longstanding suspicion of poor people—particularly poor women and especially poor women of color—as undeserving.