In his second State of the Union address, on February 5, President Donald Trump celebrated the achievements of women at work. As he looked out upon the members of Congress, including a record-breaking number of women — with many Democratic congresswomen wearing white in protest of Trump — the president doubled down on his promises of paid family leave, something women have championed for decades. His most recent budget calls for states to implement this, so those promises have yet to materialize. But in the same speech in which he seemed to celebrate women's achievements, Trump also talked about policies that could jeopardize women's ability to achieve great things in the future, continuing a trend of his presidency.
Since he took office, Trump has made moves that may threaten women's autonomy and limit their potential in the workplace. From spouting sexist rhetoric and spreading an attitude that's harmful to women to pressing for policies that limit access to birth control — a critical tool in helping women advance professionally — Trump's SOTU speech was a straw man for women's rights.
These are the ways Trump has actually made it harder for women at work.
Stripping protections for women in the workplace — including equal pay
Trump has taken numerous steps to limit civil rights protections for women in the workplace.
In March 2017, Trump signed an executive order rescinding the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, which ensured that federal contractors complied with various labor and civil rights laws, including the right to paycheck transparency and banning forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination claims, according to NBC News.
A year after that, the Department of Labor announced it would look at changing how it investigates claims of pay disparities for federal contractors, potentially making it easier for contractors to engage in pay discrimination, >Vox reports. As a reminder, women still earn only a fraction of what men make for the same roles — and that gap increases for women of color and among other marginalized communities.
Beyond these actions, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama-era guidance when he said that federal civil rights law doesn't protect transgender people at work. For transgender women, this means they can be discriminated against and fired because of their gender.
"According to Sessions, an employer is free to hang a 'Transgender Need Not Apply' sign in their window," Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement, according to CNN.
Attempting to limit access to birth control
In November 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule that expanded exemptions from the Affordable Care Act's requirement that health insurance cover birth control, making it easier for employers to drop contraceptives from their coverage. In January, a federal judge blocked that rule, but the Trump administration is expected to pursue its exemption expansion via an appeal.
Should the rule be put in place, about 70,500 people would be at risk of unintended pregnancy, as they lose health insurance coverage of their birth control, the judge who the issued the injunction said, according to NBC News. This threatens women's status in the workplace, because, since its invention, the birth control pill has been key in helping women avoid unintended pregnancies that could restrict their ability to climb the corporate ladder.
As Planned Parenthood notes, Bloomberg Businessweek listed contraception as "one of the most transformational developments in the business sector in the last 85 years." And, according to Planned Parenthood, one-third of the pay gains women have earned since the 1960s can be attributed to birth control pills. It resulted in more women pursuing higher degrees, and generally opened up opportunities for women that didn't exist prior to its invention.
Source : https://www.teenvogue.com/story/4-ways-trump-has-made-it-more-difficult-for-women-in-the-workplace