WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) spokeswoman and former 12x All-American swimmer Riley Gaines,  joined members of Congress on Capitol Hill to advocate for the passage of the Women’s Bill of Rights (WBOR). This legislation, if passed, would protect biological sex as a distinct legal category.

The Women’s Bill of Rights has been introduced in both the U.S. House (H.Res. 115)  and U.S. Senate (S.Res. 53) — in the House, the Women’s Bill of Rights has the support of bill sponsor Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) and 24 additional co-sponsors; in the Senate, sponsor Senator Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and co-sponsors Katie Britt (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Gaines joined House cosponsors, including Reps. Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Kevin Hern (OK-01), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Andy Ogles (TN-05), Burgess Owens (UT-04), and Claudia Tenney (NY-24) for a press conference to highlight the need for WBOR legislation to be considered for a vote by both House and Senate chambers.

WBOR is a declaration that words matter, that biology and science matter. This legislation defines ‘sex’ as a person’s biological sex (either male or female) at birth and adopts the common public understanding of the words ‘woman’, ‘girl’, and ‘mother.’ WBOR helps to preserve single-sex spaces that are important for safety, privacy, or equal opportunity, such as rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, athletic teams, locker rooms, and sororities.

“It’s 2023. We have the right to vote as women, and we can own property, but we have to plead and beg for privacy in our locker rooms so we’re not violated,” said Riley Gaines, Independent Women’s Voice spokeswoman.

Gaines continued, “Today, there is no law that defines sex-based terms like ‘women’ or ‘female,’ and until recently, no one would have thought these terms would ever need clarification. But as we’ve seen recently, unelected bureaucrats, judges, officials, and administrators have altered the legal meaning of these sex-based terms – to interpret them as they want and to reflect identity rather than biology, to require that men and women be treated not just equally, but the same.”


WBOR Press Conference LIVESTREAM.

WBOR Press Conference PHOTOS.

During the press conference, co-sponsors of the Women’s Bill of Rights championed this legislation, echoing Gaines’s sentiment:

“It is a sad day in our nation’s history when so many people cannot properly define the word, ‘woman,’ and so many of my colleagues deny the basic biological truth that there are two sexes and only women can get pregnant. The Democrat’s agenda is dangerous for women. In their quest to promote gender ideology, they have upended women’s rights and basic common sense. Republicans are the party of women. We believe that women are different from men, and as such, deserve legal protection,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08).

“From men competing in women’s sports, trespassing in our bathrooms, to invading women’s domestic violence centers, the woke gender mafia are launching an assault on women’s rights. And the fact that we must stand before you today and state that men who pretend to be women are not, in fact, women, is nothing short of ridiculous,” said Rep. Diana Harshbarger (TN-01).

“They’ve allowed grown men to call themselves women and take athletic scholarships, championships, and opportunities from real women like Riley, all the while calling themselves feminists. The Women’s Bill of Rights will protect women like Riley and ensure biological women continue to succeed in sports, the workplace, and in anything they pursue,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01).

“This is all of our fight. This really is a struggle of good versus evil. If we can’t defend our girls, our women, for their ability to associate – whether it’s in athletics or even in the workforce – then we’re really messed up in this country,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01).

“To be clear, this legislation is not anti-trans. This is simply standing up for women – which is something I think more of our colleagues here in Washington should be familiar with,” said Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13).

“This is very simple. This is good versus evil. That’s all that can be said. Riley Gaines represents good, she represents Christian values, and she is willing to speak out. I mean, who would’ve thought in Congress we would have to define a man and a woman? Who would’ve thought that a Supreme Court Justice could not define what a woman is? So Riley, I just want to thank you for your courage. I look forward to getting behind this legislation,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05).

“As the father of a daughter and of student-athletes, we thank Representative Lesko and Riley for leading the charge on this important issue. I’m appalled at the radical left’s attempts to erase the rights of women and erase your hard work. What has this world come to, that a man can be anything other than what they were born? We’ve got to fight back against this agenda. It’s a direct assault on the family and the values that we all uphold,” said Rep. Andy Ogles (TN-05). 

“When a man cannot stand up and fight for women’s rights, fight for the opportunity to, for fairness, when a man can actually say, ‘I’m a woman,’ and then go in there and steal away the rights from women, there’s nothing but cowards,” said Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04). 

“We are so pleased that Representative Lesko has put this bill in. It’s an honor to be a co-sponsor, along with everyone else on this bill, to protect women, protect women’s sports, protect their daughters, and protect their grandchildren of the future. And we’re just grateful to Representative Lesko and Riley for her courage,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-24).


In March 2022, Independent Women’s Voice, Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC), and Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) collaborated to draft model legislation known as the Women’s Bill of Rights. The U.S. Chapter of Women’s Declaration International (WDI, USA) also endorses WBOR.

The Women’s Bill of Rights has gained vast support among the public, various organizations and groups across the political spectrum, and recently became law in Kansas with bipartisan support to override the governor’s veto. Other states are expected to pass legislation inspired by IWV’s model legislation this year. A wave of sixteen attorneys general announced their support for the Women’s Bill of Rights this week.

In Congress, WBOR was first introduced by Congresswoman Lesko (AZ-08) and Senator Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in the 117th Congress, and again in the 118th Congress.

Read the Women’s Bill of Rights HERE.

Sign the Women’s Bill of Rights, click HERE.

Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.