In considering the potential impact of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and other actions that may affect women’s health, most of the discussion has appropriately been on the impact on individual women. Indeed, Texas demonstrates the risks. In 2011, the state legislation cut family planning grants by 66%, and tried to redirect federal funds from Planned Parenthood to more general county-based programs. Although litigation initially prevented the switch, Texas eventually succeeded in replacing the federal funds with state money, and moving such funding away from family planning providers.
Given the misogynistic tenor of the discourse used by the President throughout his campaign, as well as the trend toward repudiating established supranational spaces, many of us are justifiably concerned about the roll-back of the legal and policy advances that we have won in the global arena over the past three decades in terms of women’s human rights and gender equality. In this section of the Report we will be watching how U.S. federal laws, policy, and diplomacy under the Trump administration will interact with various international systems related to the protection and promotion of human rights and gender equality and the direct and indirect impact on human rights on the ground.
Climate change and gender equality are fundamentally linked. The effects of climate change are, and will continue to be, disproportionately experienced by women. Climate vulnerability is not gender-neutral because women have higher levels of poverty, greater reliance on climate-vulnerable natural resources, fewer legal rights, less access to international institutions and finance, and often face more restrictive cultural norms.
But women also hold critical capacity to make the response to climate change more effective in agricultural production, household energy use, community management, natural-resource and biodiversity management, and education of children, among other channels (UNDP).
In spite of the largely local control of U.S. education policy, there are many ways that federal and state governments impact school policies and practices, from what’s taught in the classroom to what’s served in the lunchroom. Given the Republican control of both Congress and the White House, we may see departures from the Obama Administration’s practices that will impact not only federal, but also state-and local education policy. Whether or not Republicans implement proposals to change current policies, they will send strong signals to local school districts about what’s possible and permissible over the next four years. As the curators for the Education section, we’ll be looking at a host of issues using an intersectional lens, where we examine gender, race, indigeneity, gender and sexuality when attending to policy issues.
With the exception of Ivanka Trump’s focus on paid maternity leave for working mothers, the Trump campaign gave little explicit attention to women’s issues or to the impact of his proposed policies on gender equality or equity. Within the new administration’s policy rhetoric on international development and trade, discussion of gender has continued to remain largely absent. Yet there are important reasons to pay attention to the gender dimensions of U.S. trade and development policies.
This section of the Global Policy Report will devote itself to identifying, unpacking, and analyzing these dimensions.
Trade issues represented a central pillar of Trump’s campaign promises, which emphasized re-negotiating multilateral and bilateral trade agreements and increasing tariffs on imported goods from specific countries (China, Mexico) as well as across the board. These promises appealed to voters who saw globalization generally and free trade deals in particular as detrimental to American jobs and workers. However, the new administration’s trade policy rhetoric rarely exhibits a gender focus and there has been little discussion of how proposed policies might impact women or gender relations more broadly, at home or abroad. This dearth of gender-based discussions of U.S. trade policy is alarming, as many of the new administration’s proposals could have differential gender-related effects.
The Criminal Justice Area of the Gender Policy Report seeks to clarify how gender works intersectionally to shape the creation, operations, and consequences of criminal justice policies. Contributions to the area might offer a gender-based analysis of criminal codes, law enforcement practices, dynamics of judicial action, or incarceration, for example. Why are women of color the fastest growing population of prisoners in the U.S.? How do developments such as prison privatization matter differently for groups defined by gender, and distinctively for transgender populations? How does the rise of mass incarceration, centered on American Indian, Black, and Chicanx/Latinx males, transform gender relations and affect women and families? On these and many related questions, we hope our area of the GPR will offer a distinctive voice in public discussions of criminal justice policy.
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