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

Obama creates women's council

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. grumpy

    I'm an old white male . Been kicked around pretty good for years . I'd like to have a council !

    March 11, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. WomanEnraged

    Debbie.............yes this is a special interest group....the FEMINIST is not a voice for all women in this country! IF you people care so much about to Sudan.....Saudi...Kuwait........Iran.......GAZA.........Afghanistan........Syria........and anywhere else that need the support for the abuse women recieve daily. Stop telling our country what WE DON"T DO!!!!!

    March 11, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. april

    Obama paid his staff on the campaign trail 80 cents to every dollar he paid his male staff-–now he creates a discussion group with no authority to do anything–patronizing don't you think.

    March 11, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Independent in NC

    Nice idea, but I don't have much hope for this. I do not believe the Obama administration has much respect for the traditionally conservative views, such as the pro-life stance. If they are willing to give equal time and funding to the advancement of women, period, then I'm for it. However, this seems to be another platform for the liberal feminist movement.

    I fear that the women who choose abstinence, or are pro-life, or choose to stay-at-home will not get equal airtime or respect, which is the way the feminist movement has been moving for the last 30 years. That is not what my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother fought for. I hope that the administration recognizes the roles of all women as important and gives equal time to them, not just watching out for the women who get paid for the work they do.

    March 11, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Just me

    Yep!! just as useless as the congressional black caucus!

    March 11, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. OMG

    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.

    You cannot be serious?!?! A USELESS agency? Sexist and stupid all in one comment. What a horrific person you are.

    March 11, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  7. Maria

    This is wonderful! President Obama is an amazing leader and visionary.

    March 11, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. julie

    When lawmakers and representatives are still overwhelmingly male, it's a good thing to officially consider how laws impact women and girls.

    March 11, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. janice

    I was so thrilled to learn of the Council on Women and Girls created by President Obama. We must not forget that it has only been a short period of time since women were allowed to vote. Ensuring that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy is something we must do.This must be a continual work in progress. I too am proud that the first bill signed into law by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.
    Thank you President Obama.

    March 11, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. Ernie in LA

    Obama needs to focus on the young men of his own race. He needs to help them stop shooting each other and straighten their lives out.

    March 11, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. Joe Fattal

    How about a council on Men and Boys. We men sometimes are treated worse than women. He keeps on appealing to the poor, black, and women he will get himself a second term.

    March 11, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Matt B

    Great Mr. President, starting a women's council...of course, you are the same person who wants to negotiate with the Taliban, an organization that does not allow women to go to school, to show their face, who stone women for talking to a man not in their family etc. But a council...that's great Mr President.

    March 11, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. PaulMoATX

    phoenix86 – "What a horrific president he is."

    Can you please explain what you've done for this country except whine, cry and put people down?

    March 11, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama would not have done this had it not been for a petition that was circulating on the internet to have this established. I also find it hypocritical because Obama was exhaulted by the liberal media while Clinton was demonized and Obama SAID NOTHING. during this run for the throne he now sits on. Obama is where he is because is he male – plain and simple. We will never have a woman President in any of our life times – Council on Women or no Council on Women.

    March 11, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. rob

    Very noble mr. President. , I don't how in the world you're paying for it, but I'm proud.

    March 12, 2009 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
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