Council on Women and Girls Blog

  • Advancing Women’s Leadership in Law Enforcement

    Connie Patrick is Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Department of Homeland Security’s law enforcement training organization.  Last year, FLETC trained more than 70,000 law enforcement professionals in skills including fingerprinting, tracking financial transactions, counterterrorism tactics, securing a building and searching a crime scene. Patrick reflects on an event the Center hosted for 21 women leaders in law enforcement.

    Last week, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) hosted 21 women in law enforcement as part of FLETC’s Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Training Program at our headquarters in Glynco, GA. FLETC hosted a week-long leadership training program to help promote and support women’s leadership in law enforcement, discuss current leadership challenges for women in law enforcement, and help facilitate career planning.
    During the training program, I had the great privilege to join U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Chief of Staff Julia Pierson and FLETC Assistant Directors Cynthia Atwood and Dominick Braccio for a panel discussion on law enforcement leadership topics. USSS Chief of Staff Pierson began her career as a police officer in Orlando, Florida and then served as a USSS Special Agent assigned to the Miami Field Office.  FLETC Assistant Director Atwood was a special agent at the United States Department of Agriculture before coming to FLETC 15 years ago to promote law enforcement training excellence.  FLETC Assistant Director Braccio has 32 years of law enforcement experience and recently received the Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award for his contributions in areas of recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in law enforcement from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Foundation.
    Advancing Women’s Leadership in Law Enforcement

    The Women in Leadership panelists joined with class members and instructors for a group photo at the Women in Leadership Training Program held at the FLETC headquarters in Glynco, Ga. November 21, 2011.


  • Girls Scouting Science: A Roundtable Discussion

    Ed. Note:  The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Council on Women and Girls recently launched the "Women in STEM Speakers Bureau," where top Administration female STEM specialists participate in roundtables with girls in grades 6-12 across the country. The National Science Foundation’s Cora Marrett met with students from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

    Earlier this month in St. Louis I had the chance to visit with Girl Scouts from the Eastern Missouri Council to talk about science. This was a group of middle school girls, so I thought it might be difficult to engage them in conversation.  But I was wrong!  They shared their aspirations with me, and I was excited to hear about specific fields they were interested in like materials engineering and environmental design.

  • Council on Women and Girls Weekly Highlights

    Welcome to the Council on Women and Girls Weekly Highlights. If you have friends or family who would like to support the efforts of the Council on Women and Girls, please visit our website and share this link with others on Facebook and Twitter.

    This has been an important week for women, and we’ve got a lot of good information to share! In case you missed it, on Wednesday November 9th, President Obama delivered powerful remarks about the women in America at the National Women’s Law Center annual awards dinner. The dinner honored the Women Freedom Riders who valiantly fought segregation in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, make sure to check-out Valerie Jarrett’s Op-ed in the Huffington Post from Friday, November 11, entitled “Women's Issues are America's Issues.”

    Last week, we proudly commemorated Veteran’s Day. Women make up 7.5 percent of Veterans in America, (1.8 million women), and that number is expected to grow to 10 percent by 2020. We continue our work to honor our promise to women veterans. In addition, on November 10th, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about what private companies are doing to help military families and the President launched the Veteran’s Job Bank.

    On Saturday, November 12, the President and the First Lady traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meeting to discuss an agenda for growth in the Asia Pacific region. Earlier this fall, as you will remember, the U.S. hosted the APEC Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco where the leaders adopted the San Francisco Declaration on Women and the Economy and Valerie Jarrett opened the Summit. It is important to note that the Leader’s Statement, the Foreign and Trade Ministers’ Statement and the Finance Ministers’ statement all pledge to adopt and implement the San Francisco Declaration, fully recognizing and endorsing the fact that the economic empowerment of women is a strategy for growth in the region and around the world. Additionally, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks with Nina Easton of Fortune Magazine at the APEC CEO Summit on women and the economy that you can view here.

  • Regional Town Hall Meetings Focus on Engaging Men in Ending Violence Against Women

    In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development collaborated to hold ten town hall events throughout the country on the topic of Engaging Men and Boys in Ending Violence Against Women.

    These town halls provided a unique opportunity for federal and community partners to participate in important discussions regarding the inclusion of men in ending violence against women and helped to further the efforts of those working tirelessly for this cause in local and regional communities across the nation.

  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month Around the Country

    Lynn Rosenthal DV

    In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Lynn Rosenthal, left, moderates a 'Champions of Change' event to honor 14 individuals and organizations, from across the country, that are focused on ending domestic violence in their communities. (Photo by Riana Lynn) October 20, 2011.

    This October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month took me around the country to participate in a variety of listening sessions, conferences, and local events. In many of the communities I visited, I hosted roundtable meetings with local domestic violence advocates to hear about their successes in the field as well as the challenges they are facing every day.

     In early October, I traveled to Radnor, Pennsylvania to give an address at the Cabrini College Domestic Violence Symposium. The Symposium was part of Cabrini College’s broader initiatives on domestic violence education. While passing through Philadelphia, I had the chance to meet with local advocates who serve the Philadelphia community and bring their concerns back to the White House.

    Later that week, I returned to Washington D.C.  to participate in a panel at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on domestic violence safety and services in communities of color, discuss violence against women efforts at the World Bank, and participate in an Interagency Meeting and Listening Session for Tribal Leaders at the White House.

  • Women's Issues Are America's Issues

    Ed note: This Op-ed was featured in the Huffington Post on Friday, November 11, 2011.

    On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, President Obama addressed a dinner hosted by the National Women’s Law Center, and delivered a powerful speech on the importance of continuing the fight for equality for women and girls. The dinner honored women Freedom Riders, who put their own lives in jeopardy in order to fight for the end of segregation in the South.

    It was an honor to spend an evening with these courageous women, and it was a moment when our nation’s past and present were truly woven together. One Freedom Rider whispered to the President Obama that on the day he was born, August 4, 1961, she was in jail in Mississippi.

    The Freedom Riders’ stories should remind us all that change is hard. Very hard. It takes time. But with conviction, determination, and sacrifice, change is always possible. And when it comes to securing equal rights and opportunities for America’s women and girls, our country has made great progress in just a few short years.

    Change is the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the very first bill President Obama signed into law, which strengthens a woman’s right to equal pay.

    Change is health care reform that makes it illegal to deny coverage for women with pre-existing conditions such as breast cancer or being a victim of domestic violence, and requires insurance companies to cover preventive care, including mammograms and contraception.

    Change is investing in STEM education for girls, so that America’s women can be equally represented in the next generation of scientists, researchers, and engineers.

    Change is nominating two women to the Supreme Court, so that for the first time in American history, three of the nine justices are women. 

    Change is creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, which focuses every federal department and agency on working together to improve the lives of women and girls, recognizing that the issues that primarily affect women are not just women’s issues. When a woman is paid equally for equal work, her family is better off, her community is healthier, and our economy grows. When women succeed, America succeeds.