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Expanding Opportunity for Women and Working Families

Monday, March 24, 2014  
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The White House

Monday, March 24, 2014


Expanding Opportunity for Women and Working Families


President Obama’s Year of Action continued last week with a trip to Valencia College, where he talked about the importance of expanding economic opportunities for women and working families. He also delivered the Weekly Address on Saturday, entitled “Rewarding Women’s Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage.”

The Office of Science & Technology Policy continued the celebration of Women’s History Month, with a “We the Geeks,” Google+ Hangout focused on women in STEM role models.

Also last week, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal, participated in a roundtable with business leaders and advocates called upon to discuss building public-private partnerships aimed at helping end domestic violence and sexual assault in the United States.

First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing her work in China, where she is focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

And please don’t forget: If you or a loved one does not have health insurance, you have 7 days left to visit and check out your options. As President Obama said on Sunday, “If you’re an American who wants to get covered – or if you know someone who should – it’s now last call for 2014.  March 31st is the deadline to get covered this year.  So check out or call 1-800-318-2596 to see what new choices are available to you, and get covered today.”

Thank you so much for all that you do!

The White House Council on Women & Girls 

Your Weekly Address: Rewarding Women’s Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, and announced he would issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for individuals working on new federal service contracts.

“What every American wants is a paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic security, pass down some hope and optimism to their kids. And that’s worth fighting for.” 

Raising the minimum wage will increase earnings for millions of workers, increase spending power, and ultimately boost the economy.

Watch President Obama’s Weekly Address and spread the word to friends and family.

Improving Economic Opportunity for Women and Working Families

Last Thursday, the President traveled to Orlando, Florida to talk about improving economic opportunity for women and working families in America.

Although women make up about half our workforce, he explained that women still face “particular challenges” in our economy – and ensuring equal pay is not only better for women, but right for the country:

“We’ve got too many women who work hard to support themselves and their families, including the 20 percent of women enrolled in college who are trying to raise kids while earning a degree, and they’re facing unfair choices or outdated workplace policies that are holding them back. That has to change — because it holds all of us back,” stated the President at a speaking event at Valencia College, where more than half of the students (56 percent) are women. 

The Administration will follow up with its new women’s economic agenda by hosting a series of roundtable discussions across the country to hear stories about relevant issues, such as workplace flexibility and leadership opportunities. The White House will also host its “White House Summit on Working Families” on June 23, 2014.

To learn more about the White House Summit on Working Families, please visit, where you can sign up for updates, download the tool kit, and participate in a lead up event.

Click here to learn more

President Obama Delivers Remarks at the West Campus of Valencia College 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the West Campus of Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., March 20, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

We the Geeks: Women Role Models

Last Thursday, the White House hosted an episode of “We the Geeks,” focusing on “Women Role Models.” Participants tuned in to Google+ Hangout to hear from women and girl STEM leaders as they shared their stories and advice to the next generation of women in STEM fields.

“In order for the United States to continue to lead the world in innovation and reap the health, security, and economic benefits offered by cutting-edge discoveries in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), we must engage the nation’s full talent pool in these growing fields, including America’s girls and women.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will be hosting a series of activities aimed at inspiring more women and girls to become the inventors and leaders of tomorrow.

Click here to watch the “Week the Geeks” Google+ Hangout and learn more about how OSTP is leading the charge in increasing female participation in STEM education and careers.

We the Geeks Google Hangout

The First Lady's Travel Journal: Touring the Forbidden City

First Lady Michelle Obama has been traveling to China from March 19-26, 2014 – and she’s inviting students and classrooms across American to follow her trip. 

During her trip to China, the First Lady plans to focus on the power and importance of education, both in the United States and abroad. She will also highlight the need for mutual historical and cultural awareness, and emphasize the importance of students learning from one another globally.

To learn more about the First Lady’s trip to China, please feel free to follow her blog posts here.

Ending Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the United States

Last week, the White House hosted a roundtable of business leaders and advocates to discuss building public-private partnerships aimed at helping end domestic violence and sexual assault in their workplaces and communities.

“The need for action could not be more urgent. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five women is the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. In fact, 60% of Americans 15 years of age or older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.”

Since the beginning, the Obama Administration has prioritized combatting violence against women. President Obama and Vice President Biden championed many of the Administration’s efforts, including creating new campaigns to reach teens and young adults, working to build new initiatives to reduce domestic violence homicides, and establishing the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

Click here to learn more about the Administration’s efforts here.

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