BOISE, ID — Today, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) applauds Idaho Governor Brad Little for signing HB 421 into law, legislation inspired by IWV’s Women’s Bill of Rights (WBOR) model legislation that codifies the common public understanding of sex-based words, such as ‘woman’ and ‘man’, already used across state code. The bill is set to take effect July 1, 2024.   

Idaho now follows the lead of other states inspired by Women’s Bill of Rights legislation, including Kansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, all of which adopted similar measures last year, and Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, all of which are moving legislation inspired by the Women’s Bill of Rights this session.

State Representative Barbara Ehardt (ID District 33-A) celebrated today’s win, saying, “I have absolutely appreciated the leadership role that Independent Women’s Voice has taken in helping nationally to push to define ‘sex’. Idaho is the next state to join this push and I’m grateful to be a part of it.” 

Rep. Ehardt is the original sponsor of Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which elevated Idaho as the first state in the nation to pass protections for female athletes. Today, nearly half of all U.S. states have implemented protections for female athletes.  

Riley Gaines, Independent Women’s Voice ambassador, said: “Thank you Governor Little for standing with women and signing the  codification of sex-based terms in law, inspired by Independent Women’s Voice’s Women’s Bill of Rights. Idaho’s action on this issue should be celebrated and is a sharp rebuke of an aggressive attempt to erase women’s rights. Thank you for saying “NO” to this discriminatory effort to rewrite women’s rights and allow men to take our opportunities and infiltrate our spaces.”

Idaho’s HB 421 is an important step in helping to preserve single-sex spaces that ensure privacy, safety, and equal opportunity. Independent Women’s Voice commends Idaho for passing clear definitions to common sex-based words but cautions legislators to avoid conflating ‘sex’ with ‘gender’ in state law where possible and urges that legislation to never consider ‘gender’ a synonym for ‘sex’. 

“Using the term ‘gender’ to mean biological sex is confusing and misleading,” explained Jennifer Braceras, vice president for legal affairs at Independent Women’s Voice and founder of Independent Women’s Law Center. “Legislators must say what they mean, and judges and unelected bureaucrats must not twist the meaning of scientific terms to undermine the rights of women and girls.” Braceras explains more in, “Say sex, not gender: Why conservatives need to stop using Leftist language.”

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

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.