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“W’ did not forget the ladies

September 25, 2009 | NeW Staff

Remember President Obama’s Council on Women and Girls? If you don’t, here is the White House press release announcing the Council on Women and Girls from March 11, 2009. The White House developed this council to serve an admirable purpose.

“The mission of the Council will be to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. “
Andi Bottner from America Maggie recently wrote an article, What Ever Happened to Obama’s Council on Women and Girls? Her goal in this article was to highlight that “Empowering Women” is not a revolutionary idea of President Obama’s Administration, in fact George W. Bush’s Administration devoted much effort toward recognizing and empowering women. 
“During the Bush Administration there was an optimistic belief the advancement of democracy, prosperity and security worldwide was not possible without the empowerment of women. It was understood that when women demanded their rights, freedom and dignity, it benefitted not only women and their families; it strengthened democracy, bolstered economic prosperity and encouraged tolerance. Across the globe, women were backed with strong support from the United States government and the American people.”
Bottner went on to describe all the wonderful things the Bush Administration did to serve and empower women including, Condoleezza Rice’s creation of the International Women of Courage Award, The First Lady launching the United States-Middle East partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, and the President himself created The President’s Family Justice Center to protect women and family affected by domestic violence. 
“Obviously, so much of the public discussion during the Bush years and recently, has focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would like to mention two significant efforts that came about specifically in these two countries to help women. The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and the Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative were created during the Bush Administration and have made a huge impact on the women of Afghanistan and Iraq. These entities have given the women of these countries access to the tools they need to survive and flourish. They have also brought Afghan and Iraqi women closer to American women and improved the search for common understanding.”

I hope that President Obama’s Council will be as successful at empowering women and will follow in the footsteps of an administration that truly recognized this:

“Women want to be robust and respected participants in their communities. Women want access to educational and economic opportunities. Women want to be afforded the same legal rights and be able to see their children (sons or daughters) strive for secure futures. Women are the backbone of their families and their communities.”
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