Readout of White House Meeting with Black Women Leaders on Reproductive Health and Women’s Rights
Today, President Biden and Vice President Harris hosted an event to honor the 30th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Prior to the event, the White House Office of Public Engagement in coordination with the Office of the Vice President and the Gender Policy Council hosted a roundtable of Black women leaders, in celebration of Black History Month, to discuss priority issues for Black families and Black communities.
Administration officials and community leaders discussed recent actions President Biden has taken to support women in the workplace and advance racial equity. This includes passing the end-of-year omnibus, which included the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP Act for Nursing Mothers. Thanks to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, pregnant and postpartum workers will be guaranteed a right to reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, including basic commonsense accommodations, like bathroom breaks and light duty. And the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act extends break time and private space protections for nursing parents to nearly 9 million workers, including teachers, nurses, and farmworkers. These laws are particularly important for the health and economic security of Black women, to address their higher risk for pregnancy-related complications and maternal mortality, and gender and racial pay disparities that lower their earnings.
The meeting also coincided with President Biden issuing a Presidential Memorandum today to support and advance women’s economic security by calling on heads of federal agencies to provide access to leave for federal employees when they need it, including during their first year of service.
The leaders applauded the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to racial equity as it intersects with healthcare and supporting families across the country.
The roundtable participants included:
- Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
- Fatima Goss Graves, President, National Women’s Law Center
- Carol Joyner, Executive Director, Family Values @ Work Action
- Josie Kalipeni, Executive Director, Family Values @ Work
- Christian Nunes, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)
- Dr. Jamila Perritt, President & CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health
- Dr. Jamila Taylor, President, National WIC Association
- Teresa Younger, President & CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women
- Dr. Kanika Harris, Director of Maternal and Child Health, Black Women’s Health Imperative
From the White House:
- Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement
- Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council
- Carmel Martin, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President