One conservative group is using Women's History Month to honor a top target of feminist opprobrium.
This March, the Independent Women's Forum is recognizing Vice President Mike Pence with its "Working for Women" award for being a "consistent [champion] of the economic reforms that women need most." IWF, a prominent conservative nonprofit organization, says it decided to honor the vice president based on "his long commitment to advocating for limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility." These policies, IWF believes, "ultimately enable economic growth and human flourishing."
The organization sees Pence as a leader who "values free markets, works to create a more dynamic and innovative work world, and celebrates the valuable contributions women make to society."
After Pence was named to the Republican ticket last July, the National Organization for Women slammed him as a "determined and ruthless general in the war on women." Over the course of his political career, the Pence's staunch record of pro-life policymaking has driven relentless attacks from the feminist movement.
IWF, on the other hand, believes the Trump-Pence administration will actually work to advance women's causes. Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer told the Washington Examiner, "There are strong signs that this is an administration that understands that micromanaging the workplace would likely lead to unintended consequences, and that we ought to pursue solutions that do not place undue burdens on employers and that allow for maximum flexibility and salaries for workers."
When asked whether the administration has been receptive to IWF's policy goals, Schaeffer says the administration has actually reached out to them for input.
"We have been pleased that both the administration and allies on the Hill have consistently reached out to the Independent Women's Forum for our input on critical issues like paid leave and childcare, as well as other policies like health care," she remarked. "We hope to continue to have a seat at the table moving forward."
In an op-ed earlier this month, IWF Managing Director Carrie Lukas encouraged conservatives to "follow Ivanka's lead" and "focus on supporting White House reforms that help women and are consistent with conservative principles."
Like Ivanka Trump, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is on a temporary leave of absence from IWF's board of directors, has signaled an interest in working on women's issues.
Though liberal feminists would never agree, the Trump administration is well-positioned to advance policies that may work to restore the Republican Party's reputation on women's issues. If Pence continues "working for women" as vice president by implementing free market policies that benefit families, organizations such as NOW will have a much harder time claiming he's a general in the so-called war on women.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.