The War on Women is in full force under the Trump administration. We refuse to go back, and we refuse to let the administration quietly dismantle the progress we’ve made. We are watching.
This is the War on Women Report.
+ On Monday, the Trump administration announced new rules that make it easier for companies to deny birth control coverage to their employees. The new policies, which will likely go into effect in the next 60 days, give exemptions to organizations who claim a religious reason not to provide the coverage—but whereas large organizations need a religious reason not to give coverage, small organizations only need to claim moral objections.
+ After a week of consistently targeting and insulting women of color reporters, Trump took another hit at people of color by leaving out Hindus in a tweet celebrating Diwali Tuesday. The tweet, which came almost an entire week late, failed to mention one of the largest religious groups celebrating the holiday—and despite multiple corrections, he continued making the error.
+ Trump also concluded his visit to Paris Tuesday with a tweet mocking his French counterpart as the city mourned the anniversary of a terrorist attack that killed 130 people, many of whom were women. The memory of the mass shooting and suicide bombings three years ago prompted the Benjamin Griveaux, a French government spokesperson to remark that “common decency” would have been more appropriate.
+ CNN announced Tuesday that it was suing the White House for barring reporter Jim Acosta from press briefings on-site, claiming the decision violated the First Amendment right to freedom of the press.
+ The Trump Administration announced Wednesday that they had gained a second border wall contract in Texas for $167 million. This only escalates the president’s long-standing practices of fear-mongering around immigration, and the targeting of immigrants of Mexican descent crossing the southern border. Most recently, he leveraged a “migrant caravan,” filled with women fleeing violence, as a political talking point to bolster support for his racist and xenophobic immigration policies.
+ Trump on Wednesday tried again to make a claim he initially made a few months ago: that Americans need voter ID laws because we need an ID to do other things. This time, he cited buying a box of cereal as an example. (We don’t know anywhere you need an ID to buy a box of cereal, but we do know that Voter ID laws discriminate against older voters, young voters and particularly women of color.)
+On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sent a letter to the Trump Administration asking why a bi-partisan bill signed into law last October had not yet been acted upon. The Women, Peace and Security Act, meant to give more women seats at the table in conflict resolution and national security, required a detailed action plan from the Trump Administration to be sent to the Senate one year after the law was created—but it never materialized. The Senators are calling for an action plan as well as an explanation for the president’s delinquency.
+ Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced more changes Friday to the Title IX mandates that shape the handling of sexual assault college campuses. DeVos’ changes will bolster protections for the accused at the sake of the dignity and rights of survivors—including allowing accused sexual assailants to see all evidence against them and even cross-examine their victims. Schools will also now have more leniency in deciding not to pursue justice altogether; DeVos’ rules will mandate that colleges only investigate complaints of sexual assault that occurred on campus grounds or official school areas, and only if they were reported to certain officials on campus. Lastly, the changes change the definition of sexual harassment—from “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” to a behavior that “effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”