Snap Fact #164

President Obama “Stands Up” and “Stands Out” As A Result of His Unabashed Presidential Support of Women’s Issues!
President Obama has great respect for his grandmother, mother, daughters, his wife and all women. He is in strong support of each woman choosing her own career path, whether it is in or out of the home, or both. Among other demonstrations of this, he supports moms raising children by championing equal pay for women. One of the first things the President did after taking office was to create a White House Council on Women and Girls. President Obama wanted to make sure that "every agency across my administration considers the needs of women and girls in every decision they make". What led him to his unwavering support of women's issues? Read below to find out mostly his own words what has guided and driven his commitment to Women’s Issues.

Women now make over more of our country’s workforce, not to mention 80 percent of the Presidents household and if you count his mother-in-law, and he always does, he is surrounded by women. The President has done and said many things in support of women. Just one that reveals his deep respect for the distaff side is his statement that recognizes the breadth and depth of this issue. "Every decision made by those of us in public life impacts women just as much a men". 

For President Obama, his respect begins with the women who shaped his life. President Obama grew up the son of a single mom who struggled to put herself through school and make ends make meet. The mother and son needed to rely on food stamps at one point to get by. The persistent young mom eventually earned her education, which she made through with scholarships and hard work. Both the President and his sister followed their mother's example and earned their degrees by hard work, which afforded them deserved scholarships, along with the motivation and support of their mom. When their mother couldn't keep up, another women, Grandma Madelyn Payne Dunham, stepped in to provide the nurturing and support that the Obama youngsters needed. "My grandmother had a high school education. My grandmother wasn’t afforded the opportunity to go to college. Nevertheless she got a job at a bank and she was smart, tough, and disciplined. Eventually she rose from being a secretary to being vice president. Then she hit the glass ceiling and for a big chunk of her career she watched other men that she had trained-younger men than she –pass her up the ladder."


Such is the deep seated personal life experience that helped to inform Barack Obama of the high value of women. The President says it best so listen to more of his heartfelt words and judge if he is at war with women or at war with those who would set women back a generation or two.

"And then there was the woman who advised me at a law firm in Chicago where we met and she gave me very good advice - so I married her. When the girls were born Michelle gave it her all to balance raising a family and pursuing a career, something that could be very difficult on her because I was gone a lot. Because of my work in the state legislature I was traveling, teaching and practicing law - we did not have the luxury for her not to work. I know when she was with the girls she’d feel guilty that she wasn’t giving enough time to her work. When she was at work..... we both wished that there were a machine that could be in two places at once. And so she had to constantly juggle it and carried an extraordinary burden for a long period of time. That’s what drives me every day when I step into the Oval office –thinking about them."

"Every decision I make is all about making sure that they and all our daughters and sons grow up in a country that gives them the chance to be anything that they set their minds to; that more doors are open to them than were open to us. When I think about these efforts, when we put together this Council on Women and Girls, this is personal. These are the experiences the prisms through which I view these efforts. And that’s what we mean when we say that these issues are not just a matter of policy and when we talk about these issues that primarily impact women. We’ve got to realize that these are not just women’s issues. They are family issues. They are economic issues, they are growth issues. They are issues that are American competitiveness. They‘re issues that impact all of us."

"Right now, women are a growing number of breadwinners in the household. However, they are still earning just 77 cents for every dollar a man does - even less for an African American or Latino woman. Overall, a woman with a college degree doing the same work as a man will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career. So closing this pay gap-ending discrimination –is about far more than simple fairness. When more women are bringing home the bacon, but bringing home less of it than men who are doing the same work, that weakens families, it weakens communities, it’s tough on our kids, it weakens our entire economy".