WASHINGTON, DC – Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) applauds Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen for establishing yesterday a Women’s Bill of Rights in Nebraska by executive order. Pillen’s order:

  1. defines common sex-based terms, such as ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘woman’, and ‘man’, for purposes of state administrative law; 
  2. requires publicly collected sex-based vital statistics to accurately reflect biology; and
  3. recognizes that the government has an important interest in maintaining separate private spaces for women and men with respect to athletics, locker rooms, domestic violence shelters, prisons, and other spaces where biology, privacy and/or safety are implicated. 

Nebraska is now the fourth state to establish a Women’s Bill of Rights, following a recent executive order by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and legislation adopted in Kansas and Tennessee.

Women’s Bill of Rights model legislation, first announced in March 2022, was drafted by Independent Women’s Voice and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) in collaboration with the nonpartisan feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF).

Jennifer Braceras, Director of Independent Women’s Law Center and co-author of the Women’s Bill of Rights explained, “We can’t fight sex discrimination if we can’t agree on what it means to be a woman. And we can’t collect accurate data regarding public health, medicine, education, crime, and the economic status of women if agencies define sex to mean ‘gender identity.’ At Independent Women’s Law Center, we know what a woman is. Thankfully, Governor Pillen does too.”

Lauren Bone, legal counsel for Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and co-author of the Women’s Bill of Rights said, “Legal recognition of sex is essential to ensure women’s equal access to public life. We are very pleased that the state of Nebraska has chosen to be among the first states to take this measure to defend women’s legal rights.”

Advisor for Independent Women’s Voice and 12x All-American swimmer Riley Gaines met with Gov. Pillen just days before he issued the executive order and asked him to take a page from Gov. Stitt and advance IWV’s Women’s Bill of Rights in Nebraska. Gaines is encouraged by the swift action and celebrates another big win for women and girls: “I am so grateful to Governor Pillen for standing with nearly one million Nebraska women and girls by signing an executive order implementing Independent Women’s Voices Women’s Bill of Rights. His leadership marks another major victory for preserving women’s spaces and opportunities where fairess and safety are at risk. I hope other Governors will do the same.” 

Senator Kathleen Kauth, Nebraska state senator representing District 31, said, “This is yet another step that will help protect women and children in Nebraska and I’m pleased the governor took action.”

Paula Scanlan, Stand with Women spokeswoman and advisor for Independent Women’s Voice and Lia Thomas’ former UPenn teammate, said, “I am so happy to see Nebraska become the 4th state to define what a woman is and recognize the importance of protecting women’s sports and spaces. I hope more states will follow Governor Pillen’s lead and I am so excited for the women and girls of Nebraska.”

To read and 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.