Trump Gender Equality Memo: Seeking To Advance Women’s Issues Or ‘Witch Hunt’?

The transition team of President-elect Donald Trump has “asked,” as reported by the New York Times, or “instructed,” as reported by the Washington Post, the U.S. Department of State and The United States Agency for International Development to provide information with regard to government initiatives to end “gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”

The Trump transition team made a similar request last week with regard to activities revolving around climate change. The president-elect has previously voiced a belief that “nobody really knows” whether or not climate change is a phenomenon, as reported by the Inquisitr. Trump’s team’s request for information about gender-equality programs was said to have included a deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday. Requests for comment on the missive from the Trump transition were said to have been turned down, other than acknowledging the memo was official and had been approved.

A woman holds a 'women for Trump' sign.

Unlike the request made by the team for a list of employees’ names involved with climate change, the Trump gender-equality memo only asked for programs and position titles, where the “primary functions are to promote such issues.” The Energy Department was reported to have refused the request to provide the names of employees who had worked on the Paris accord. Trump’s team later stated that the request for names wasn’t “standard protocol,” and it had not been officially sanctioned by the president-elect or the group.

The New York Times described the language in the Trump memo as “neutral,” and it didn’t indicate its purpose. However, members of the State Department were reported to have expressed concern with the request for information surrounding “gender-related staffing,” which has been interpreted to possibly refer to LGBT issues, while not stated specifically. “I can promise that if the next administration intends to roll back programs designed to lift women up, it will very quickly meet stiff opposition in the Senate,” U.S. Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen was quoted as saying.

U.S. Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen has expressed concern over a Donald Trump gender issues memo.

John Kirby, a press secretary for the State Department, stated that the request was in “keeping with” those made during the last presidential transition when he was with the Pentagon. Kirby also made comments with regard to Donald Trump’s secretary of state pick, Rex Tillerson, the chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM), describing a conversation with the incoming secretary as a “nice chat.”

The State Department was reported to have complied with the request, providing the information to the Trump team.An anonymous official with the State Department was unclear about the purpose of the directive, stating that it might be a sign that Donald Trump is looking to “advance gender issues” or that it may be a “witch hunt.” Another member of the Department was quoted by Josh Rogin of the Washington Post that the request has been “devastating” to employee moral.

In March, Secretary of State John Kerry described gender equality as being a “core tenet of America’s global leadership.” The U.S. Congress passed the Women, Peace, and Security Act last month, designed to make the initiative, originally brought forward by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an enduring policy.

The Inquisitr had previously featured the widely reported comments of Donald Trump made to now-fired NBC host Billy Bush on an audiotape, which was produced when the president-elect did not appear to know he was being recorded, with regard to his seeming sexual assault of women. When speaking to actor Scott Baio, who described Trump’s comments about “grabbing women by the p*****” as regular guy talk, Fox News‘ Judge Jeanine Pirro opined that the president-elect’s words could cause some women to think he is a “pig.”

Following the release of the lewd tape, a long list of women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of President-elect Trump, as reported by the Inquisitr. New York Magazine has observed that the daughter of the president-elect, Ivanka Trump, was one of the few Donald Trump surrogates to speak about women’s issues during his presidential campaign. Despite her efforts, reports of “thousands” of women boycotting the Ivanka Trump clothing line surfaced in the wake of the allegations of sexual impropriety against Trump and the release of the recorded conversation with Billy Bush.

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