March 11th, 2009
04:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama creates women's council

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to the president, will head the committee by serving as council chairwoman.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to the president, will head the committee by serving as council chairwoman.

(CNN) - President Obama signed an executive order Wednesday to establish the White House Council on Women and Girls.

The newly created panel, which aims to ensure that the government considers how its policies impact females, is asking each federal agency to analyze its policies to make certain the agencies are "focused internally and externally on women."

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to the president, will head the committee by serving as council chairwoman. Deputy Assistant to the President, Tina Tchen, will join Jarrett in leading the panel as the council's executive director.

"The purpose of this Council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy," said President Obama in a statement released Wednesday. "My Administration has already made important progress toward that goal. I am proud that the first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. But I want to be clear that issues like equal pay, family leave, child care and others are not just women’s issues, they are family issues and economic issues. Our progress in these areas is an important measure of whether we are truly fulfilling the promise of our democracy for all our people."

Watch: President Obama creates council on women and girls

During the first year, the council maintains that it will focus on improving the economic status of women, developing strategies to establish a balance between work and family, working with agencies to prevent violence against women, and improving women's health care.


Filed under: President Obama • Valerie Jarrett
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Seminarystudent

    I think its great to have a forum to help women and girls. Don't get me wrong. However, I do feel that now that women are more than 50% of all students in colleges and graduate schools, there should be increasing attention on engaging boys and young men – to be successful, to believe in themselves. For too long, there has been a focus on helping women with the assumption that just because men are still in many prominent positions, boys are doing just fine in schools across the country. Are criminal justice system, the drop out rates, etc tell a different story.

    March 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. thomas

    What a great idea! Now if we could do the same for those conflicted by poverty, we might begin to make some progress toward insuring human rights for all. Add: The newly created panel, which aims to ensure that the government considers how its policies impact the poor, is asking each federal agency to analyze its policies to make certain the agencies are "focused internally and externally on the poor.

    March 11, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. proud american

    I'm wondering how Hillary Clinton's bitter "feminist" supporters will react to this...you'all were the ones who called Michelle ugly, called Nancy Pelosi a jealous hag, who said Obama wasn't allowed to choose a woman running mate other than Hillary...who voted for pro-life anti-equal-pay McCain...

    March 11, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Allison from KY

    I am IMPRESSED by the statement of direction , the vision and the pragmatism shown...

    "I want to be clear that issues like equal pay, family leave, child care and others are not just women’s issues, they are FAMILY issues...."

    "Smart Government" and NOT these Big vs Small Government arguments!

    C'mon – can GOP match these?? At this rate, Republicans are extinct by 2012...

    March 11, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. liz

    It is so refreshing to have a leader who doesn't treat us like worthless baby machines.

    March 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Nataly Roberts

    Wow, somebody finally remembered working mothers. I am amazed. And delighted.

    March 11, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Oregon calling

    I am woman, hear me roar! Please Mr. President, make it a government for ALL people. I am a woman but I also know that injustice is being done on ALL sides. Let us not create a gender war.

    Peace :-)

    March 11, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Debbie

    Michael- Women are not a "special interest group". We are 1/2 of the human race, baby! It is not a waste of time and money to make things like equal pay and child care a focus. Careful, your sexism is showing.

    March 11, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Had It

    How do we collect our back pay?

    March 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. An American

    Its about the "economy" stupid – not creating panels. NO. 1 PRIORITY – THE ECONOMY!!!!! WHAT PART OF THAT DOES OBMAMA NOT UNDERSTAND?

    March 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Once You Vote Black

    This is great, while the GOP is searching for direction and leadership the Democrates are improving life for women and family. I know Bush could not do more then 1 thing at a time but Obama sure can. This is where I like to see my tax dollars go because when my sister, mom and wife are happy so am I.

    March 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Jan Illinois

    Sounds great to me and all other women, Now tell me why, when you had the chance to put a woman first, you picked Joe over Hillary? I still want to know the answer to that Mr. President.

    March 11, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    Another USELESS agency. Obama's administration is apparently modeled after Third World countries.

    What a horrific president he is.

    March 11, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. B

    What about the dept. to help young boys and men to believe in themselves? They must have their own dept. Simple as that.
    What about a dept. for babies? Oh! I forgot he signed that bill the other day.
    I guess once he gets his dog we'll have national dog day. Probabaly going to be in the second stimulus coming.

    March 11, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. t..

    for gods sake.....enough is enough....forget all of this shi........focus and fix the economy. everyday it is something else. i think the boy likes to hear himself talk!

    March 11, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. cnnnewser

    Thank you President Obama!
    I wonder what negative things the republicans will have to say about this....

    March 11, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. bsmith171

    is jarrett a woman?

    she was a bagman between chicago's daley and REZKO before she hired michelle robinson for that job.

    March 11, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Vegas Barbie the Paralegal for Obama

    Very good!

    March 11, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. Lynn

    Please Mr. President do something for the young men and boys in this country. They continue to be the underdog–left to fend for themselves while young women and girls of all nationality become leaders, specialists, program administrators in the private and federal sector. Women have made major advancement (unlike the 1800s) - look at your own administration. Please give the young men and boys a chance at the American dream. Create an oversee agency to protect and promote their welfare.

    March 11, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    Wow a useless agency is right! There are many groups right now that focus on all the issues that people are talking about, the problem is that many of these so called "organizations" is that they get greedy and don't do what they set out to do.

    I guess the next group will be a "Mens and Boys" council. There are plenty of men and boys that need our help too, but apparently we can forget about them because it is "harder on women". Take a look at our prison system and tell me we don't need to focus on men and boys. As a mother of 2 boys, soon to be a third, I think their rights are just as important as women and girls.

    March 11, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Dylan from Minneapolis

    phoenix86 March 11th, 2009 5:40 pm ET

    Another USELESS agency. Obama's administration is apparently modeled after Third World countries.

    What a horrific president he is.
    ---
    It's unfortunate that this is the second peice of crap I had to read by you today. I think you would rather just hate everything President Obama does so you feel more justified in hating him as a person. I think you should elaborate a little bit better on your points(third world country, really?), otherwise you just sound like a bumbling ignorant idiot. But I suppose that's who you're trying to apeal to.

    March 11, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. EBJ

    wow I didn't think ANYBODY could find something wrong with this but as usual the bitter right can find WRONG in anything the president does. Must be rotten to be such sore losers and bitter.

    March 11, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    waste of time.......

    March 11, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. WomanEnraged

    By the way......where is the TRANSPARANCY in what the heck this Jarrett woman makes in a year??????????? All these BOGUS cabinet / Administration postions........how much is this costing the Gov't???
    FIX the economy......and stop Spending Everyone Else's Money!!!!!

    March 11, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. 4 and No More

    @ Jan Illinois, "... Now tell me why, when you had the chance to put a woman first, you picked Joe over Hillary? "

    You mean Hillary " Let's surrender Iraq" Clinton? I can't believe she still has a political career. But yeah, I can't really believe Joe got a job either.

    March 11, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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