A Conversation with Ohio on Women and Girls

Last week, the Council on Women and Girls (CWG) hosted a conference call with leaders in Ohio’s women’s community. I had the fortune to participate in the call and speak about the White House Administration’s focused efforts on empowering women and girls. Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls (and a native Ohioan herself!), talked about the history of the Council - it began on March 11, 2009, when President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. Tina conveyed the President’s fundamental belief that empowering women and girls isn’t just the responsibility of one agency or office, but rather it’s the responsibility of the entire federal government.  She pointed out a few examples within the government where progress has been made, one of which was the fact that women officers are now allowed to serve their country on submarines. Additionally, Tina spoke proudly about the women serving in the government, such as Elizabeth Warren, director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. She also reminded everyone that both of the President’s nominees to the Supreme Court were women, and how these women, among many others here, serve as role models for women and girls around the world.

Yvette Fontenot, from the Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its positive effects on women. Allison Randall, Assistant in the White House Office on Violence against Women, spoke next about our activities for Domestic Violence Awareness month and the President and Vice President’s commitment to ending violence against women. Finally, Nell McCarthy of the Domestic Policy Council closed the call with an overview of the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, a task force the Obama Administration created to crack down on violations of equal pay laws. Participants concluded the Ohio Women’s Call with a Q&A session.

If you want to be involved with the Council on Women and Girls, please contact us at cwg@who.eop.gov.  We appreciate your engagement.

Jenny Kaplan is Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls

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