January 17, 2021

January 2021 Global News Update

Warnock and Ossoff win their Georgia Senate Seats

Although January 6th was marked by upsetting footage and news of an aggressive mob attacking the people’s house -- our Capitol, we must also celebrate the hard-fought accomplishment of two senate seat wins from Georgia! Thanks to you, and your diligence in the cause of voting from abroad, we were able to solidify a democrat majority in the House and Senate. With important issues that have had to wait patiently on the back-burner as we mobilized to secure Biden and Harris’s win, we are now able to turn to what is important, our cause, to not only protect, but promote women’s rights. Thank you, Georgia!

COVID-19 Relief for Women and their Families

Over the past four years, the Trump administration has gone out of its way to launch attacks on women — including in housing, the workplace, and schools. When President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris take office, their administration and Congress must make it a top priority to not just undo the damage of the last four years, but to push forward an agenda that will ensure everyone has the freedom to live, work, learn, and serve free from discrimination based on sex.

Here are just a few of the many items that should top the Biden administration’s to-do list:

Assure safe and stable housing for women and families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put as many as 40 million people in this country at risk of eviction. This is both a racial justice and gender justice issue: Black women face eviction at twice the rate of white renters. And, once a family has been evicted, the devastating harms can follow them for years, exacerbating and reproducing conditions of economic inequality and preventing families from securing stable housing anywhere else. 

Thankfully, the next administration can take concrete steps to ensure all people have access to safe and stable housing during the pandemic and beyond. Add your name to the ACLU’s petition demanding that the Biden administration make these issues a priority in their first 100 days.

Remove barriers to workplace equality for women.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put women at the center of the most unequal recession in modern American history; more than 2 million women have left the workforce since January 2020, with Black women and other women of color hit the hardest. As we plan a path toward recovery, it’s more critical than ever to ensure women have equal access to opportunities on the job. In addition to any pandemic recovery plans, the next administration must prioritize and call on Congress to pass these critical measures:

  • Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, to protect workers who need temporary job modifications during their pregnancies, so that they won’t have to choose between their paycheck and having a healthy pregnancy.
  • BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, to make the promise of the #MeToo revolution a reality, and create workplaces free of harassment in all its forms.
  • PUMP (Proving Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act, to make sure workers who need to pump on the job can do so safely, and without penalty.

In addition to fighting for these new protections, the Biden-Harris administration can help make existing protections a reality, through robust enforcement of civil rights and labor laws by government agencies. That includes holding corporations accountable for sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination and unfair labor practices by franchises, contractors, and others. Join forces with Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus  to make your voice heard – protecting women in the workplace is a critical priority.

Eliminate sexual harassment and assault in our nation’s schools.
Sexual harassment and assault have no place in our schools, yet over a quarter of women endure sexual assault during their college years and more than half face harassment in junior high or high school. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos dramatically reduced schools’ obligations to respond to sexual harassment and assault. President-elect Joe Biden has already said his administration will withdraw DeVos’s damaging double standard, which allows schools to ignore reports of harassment based on sex where similar reports based on race, national origin, or religion would require an appropriate response. The Education Department must not only rescind the DeVos double standard, but replace it with strong protections against sexual harassment and fair processes for all students. The ACLU will hold the Biden administration to this promise – sign the petition if you will demand the same.  

Ensure military opportunities are open to all regardless of sex.
The Biden administration should end the Department of Defense’s biased policies that harm women who want to serve in combat, including sex-segregated Marine Corps boot camp and refusing to assign junior female Army soldiers and Marines to combat units unless and until senior women officers are installed there, too.

The ACLU knows that these are just some of the many issues on the Biden administration’s to-do list, and we must demand that they are not forgotten. Add your name to the ACLU’s petition to demand women’s rights are a priority within the first 100 days. Sign today.