10 Ways Our Economic Policies Benefit Women

Today, the National Economic Council released a report on how the Obama administration’s economic policies address the challenges facing American women, both in the tough economic times we’re going through now and in the long term. From day one, the President has focused on laying the foundation for economic growth that creates good jobs for all Americans -- many of these policies have been particularly important for women.

Here are 10 ways the Administration’s policies benefit women:

1. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill the President signed, ensures fair treatment in the workplace.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Signing

President Barack Obama signs into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in the East Room of the White House. January 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Joyce Boghosian)

2. The Paycheck Fairness Act builds on the Ledbetter Act to ensure equal pay for an equal day’s work. President Obama strongly supports the Act and has urged the Senate to act swiftly so that he can sign it into law.

3. SBA Recovery Act loans make it easier for women to grow their businesses and create jobs. More than 12,000 SBA Recovery Act loans have driven $3 billion in loans to women small business owners.

4. Wall Street reform helps women make smart financial choices by empowering women through financial education and financial literacy. This legislation ends predatory practices, simplifies credit card bills, stops hidden fees and unfair rate hikes, and sets up a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to enforce the toughest financial protections in history.
 
5. The Affordable Care Act addresses women’s unique health care needs. Health Care reform protects women from insurance company abuses, makes coverage more affordable, and makes preventive care like mammograms, neonatal care, and newborn carefree under all new plans.

6. The Recovery Act funded workforce training programs and work-study to help community college students – most of whom are women – pay for their education through employment.
 
7. Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for low-wage workingwomen and mothers makes it a bit easier to be a working mom – a step that helped nearly 15 million women last year.
 
8. The American Opportunity Tax Credit helps women earn a college education – it expanded and increased student aid, and makes loan repayment more manageable so huge repayments don’t weigh down people.

9. The Making Work Pay Tax Credit benefited 74 million American women; average female recipients got $600 more in their pocketbooks in 2009.
 
10. Unemployment Insurance extensions helped 6.9 million women and their families from July 2008 to August 2010. Social Security plays a vital role for retired women who make up 58 percent of all beneficiaries, and President Obama is committed to strengthening and protecting it.

While these steps won’t make everything better all at once, they are making a very real difference for many Americans in very tough times. The report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details the many ways the Administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans and for American women in particular. View the full report here.

Related Topics: Economy
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