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Bethany Kozma

Deputy Chief of Staff for USAID, and UN Commission on the Status of Women U.S. Delegation Member

Appointed by Trump: 6-29-2017

Who is Bethany Kozma?

Kozma had no leadership experience in international development nor women’s rights before joining the USAID in 2017 as a senior advisor to the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Kozma actually has an extensive history of fighting to take away transgender rights — an effort that she brought to a global scale in that role and after being promoted to USAID’s deputy chief of staff in 2020.

“...[T]his radical agenda of subjective ‘gender fluidity’ and unrestricted shower and bathroom access actually endangers all.”

Tell Congress: Support women’s health worldwide. End the global gag rule.

What Bethany Kozma Controlled

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

One of the largest official aid agencies in the world, USAID provides U.S. foreign development assistance to over 100 countries. Its programs are tasked with helping reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and empower women.

Related Policies

Global Gag Rule


LGBTQ+ Rights

The Title X Gag Rule

Background on Bethany Kozma

Kozma to UN: Don’t Talk About Birth Control

Bethany Kozma argued to remove all mentions of modern contraceptives from official UN documentation, even though part of USAID’s mission is to increase global access to these services.

The Independent
Discriminating Against Trans Young People

Bethany Kozma spearheaded a campaign to take away civil rights protections for transgender youth.

International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC)
Belittling Trans Kids

Bethany Kozma has belittled the identities of transgender people by referring to trans youth as gender-confused children.

USAID Policy Erases LGBTQ+ People from Gender Equality Policy

In January 2021, the outgoing Trump administration released its final USAID gender equality policy. The revised policy erased sexual orientation, gender identity, and other basic characteristics from the definition of gender. Meanwhile, it denied the critical role that comprehensive reproductive health care services and information — including abortion, sex education, and modern methods of contraception — play in achieving gender equality around the world. What the policy did include: misleading language about “unalienable rights,” which has been linked to discrimination.

'A Pro-Life Country'

During the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 2018, Bethany Kozma called the U.S. "a pro-life country," a claim that misrepresents strong domestic support for abortion and the fact that abortion is legal in the United States.

Pushing Harmful Myths on Trans-Inclusive Policies and Bathroom Safety

Bethany Kozma argued that there’s a direct link between sexual predators and transgender people’s right to access the bathrooms of their choice.

Pushing Anti-Abortion Agenda in International COVID-19 Response

In spring 2020, USAID demanded that the U.N. and World Health Organization (WHO) take out abortion as an essential service in their global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19. USAID also wanted the U.N. and WHO to stop explicitly supporting sexual and reproductive health in their international guidance for countries and health program leaders on how to keep people as healthy as possible amid the pandemic. The U.N. and WHO maintained that sexual and reproductive health services, including safe access to abortion, are at risk and must be protected while countries respond to COVID-19.

The Hill

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