The Trump administration is considering doing away with the White House Council on Women and Girls

The Trump administration is considering doing away with the White House Council on Women and Girls
President Donald Trump walks with daughter Ivanka Trump on White House grounds.
Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Donald Trump walks with daughter Ivanka Trump on White House grounds.
Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Donald Trump and his administration have been weighing whether or not they should do away with the White House Council on Women and Girls, an Obama-era initiative dating back to 2009.

According to Politico, the council — whose mission is to ensure government agencies take into account the interests of women and girls — has been defunct since Trump took office in January.

“We want the input of various agencies to understand the assets they have so that we make this office additive, not redundant,” White House spokesperson Hope Hicks explained to that outlet, noting that the administration is still debating the “best positioning” for the council.

Hicks also nodded to first daughter Ivanka Trump’s own pushes for policies benefiting women, including her proposed parental leave policy and emphasis on STEM education for young girls. But Betsy Myers, the former director of Bill Clinton’s Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, said Ivanka Trump’s self-proclaimed dedication to women’s issues isn’t enough to safeguard women and girls in the Trump administration.

“That’s the problem, there’s nobody to reach out to except Ivanka,” Myers told Politico. “If you don’t have somebody with a full-time job and a team — and the right title because that allows you to get into the right meeting — then you’re not going to be able to move the agenda forward on behalf of women.”

Ivanka Trump joined IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on stage at a conference in Berlin in April.
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Trump took aim at the federal government’s programming for women and girls before he even took office.

In January, before his inauguration, Trump’s transition team drew up a budget blueprint with plans to eliminate 25 of the Department of Justice’s grant programs that distribute funds to organizations combatting sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse.

The planned cuts had been part of Trump’s “skinny budget” plan, which proposed the elimination of the programs — as well as the elimination of several other government agencies — as a way to save the federal government $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

Terry O’Neill, the president of National Organization for Women, told Politico the White House’s recent hemming and hawing over the Council on Women and Girls would only push women’s interests further to the margins of the Trump administration.

“I see no evidence, zero, that Donald Trump has anyone in his orbit to advocate for women and girls,” O’Neill said. “We need a real office that would really advocate.”

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Six months after the Women’s March on Washington, the Resistance Revival has a message for Trump

"Well I/ Went down to the White House and I/ Took back what they stole from me," the Resistance Revival Chorus sang in a Times Square flash mob last weekend.

20 attorneys general write letter urging Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Six months after the Women’s March on Washington, the Resistance Revival has a message for Trump

"Well I/ Went down to the White House and I/ Took back what they stole from me," the Resistance Revival Chorus sang in a Times Square flash mob last weekend.

20 attorneys general write letter urging Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.