Obama’s New ‘Council on Women’ Seen As Vehicle to Promote Feminist Agenda
March 12, 2009Although President Obama did not say exactly what issues the new White House Council on Women and Girls would address, the group is likely to promote feminist causes such as expanded litigation and the abortion rights, conservatives say.
Obama signed an executive order establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls with the intent of coordinating policies across all major federal departments to help women across the nation meet unspecified “challenges.”
Although the president did not say exactly what issues the council would address, the group is likely to promote feminist causes such as expanded litigation and the abortion rights, said Janice Crouse, a senior fellow at Concerned Women for America, a conservative advocacy group.
“It’s a political payback for feminists,” Crouse told CNSNews.com. “There is no question what is coming down the pike. Women voted for him, 56 percent to 44 percent.”
Obama, in signing the executive order to create the council, didn’t talk about specific issues, other than the fact that he recently signed the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Restoration Act, which makes it easier to sue an employer for pay discrimination.
“The purpose of this Council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy,” President Obama said. “My administration has already made important progress toward that goal.”
According to the White House, the council will focus on women’s economic security, “evaluate and develop policies that balance between work and family,” address violence against women, and “help build healthy families and improve women’s health care.”
“I want to be clear that issues like equal pay, family leave, child care and others are not just women’s issues, they are family issues and economic issues,” Obama said. “Our progress in these areas is an important measure of whether we are truly fulfilling the promise of our democracy for all our people.”
The council will be led by presidential advisers Valerie Jarrett, the chairwoman, and Tina Tchen, the executive director. Both women were deeply involved in Illinois politics prior to Obama’s election as president.
According to the White House, the council will work directly with the departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the ambassador to the United Nations, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisors, the National Economic Council, and the Domestic Policy Council.
“Every single government agency will have to look at every single policy to see if it fits the women’s rights agenda,” Crouse said. “They will be working with every minutia.”
That will almost certainly include promoting abortion, Crouse predicts.
“There is no question about it, that that is part of the whole initiative,” she said. “Women’s rights – as they interpret it – is contingent on abortion for women to have the careers they want, they have to have so-called control of their bodies.”
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