Leading Global Jewish Human Rights Group Denounces New USAID Gender Policy Which Denies the Rights of Women, Girls, and LGBTQI+ People

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) calls on incoming Biden administration to rescind disastrous policy

Today, in response to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) releasing its 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy, Rori Kramer, Director of U.S. Advocacy at American Jewish World Service, released the following statement:

“USAID’s new gender policy is one of the Trump administration’s last-ditch efforts to kneecap the rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ people across the world. By erasing sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics from the definition of gender and denying family planning and reproductive health to broad swaths of individuals worldwide, this policy undermines both the effectiveness of USAID and its values.

This destructive policy has been completed in secrecy by political appointees, and without proper input from technical experts on gender on the USAID staff, at the very same time that the global pandemic has set back the rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ people in many countries. Around the world, our partners are reporting increased incidents of gender-based violence and early or forced child marriage. At the same time, the health care needs of vulnerable communities are surging, but are not being met.

“As a faith-based organization fighting for gender equality, LGBTQI+ rights, and access to sexual and reproductive health, we denounce this newly-revised gender policy for violating the rights of individuals and communities around the globe, who do not adhere to the narrow and oppressive definition of gender being peddled by the Trump administration. Rather than respect the core value of many faiths to recognize the inherent dignity of every person, this revised gender policy is nothing more than a brazen attempt to impose state-sanctioned bigotry on hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“We call on the incoming Biden administration to rescind this policy immediately and craft a new policy affirming the rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ people, and centering sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone.”

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