President Barack Obama has praised the accomplishments of American women during a recent White House reception. The father of two daughters, the president added that there was still much to be done to ensure gender equality worldwide (video below).
On March 17, the White House hosted a Women’s History Month reception. Sana Amanat, a comic book writer best known for revitalizing Ms. Marvel as the first Marvel Muslim superhero, introduced President Obama, UPI reports.
“For a lot of young boys and girls, Sana is a real life superhero,” President Obama began. “We’ve got a lot of them in this room, so I want to acknowledge a couple of them.”
Among the women President Obama praised were president Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, NFL football coach Dr. Jennifer Welter and House Minority Leader, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California.
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President Obama proceeded to list off legislation passed during his administration that benefits women. These included women’s preventative health care attached to the Affordable Care Act as well as pay discrimination targeted by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, UPI reports.
“We still need to fight for economic equality, for equal opportunities for entrepreneurs, for equal pay for equal work,” President Obama continued. “We still need to make sure that paid family leave is not the exception around the country, but is the rule.”
The president added that violence against women and young girls being subjected to child marriage could not be tolerated. Obama also referenced online harassment aimed at women who simply want to engage in video games and social media, The Hill reports.
“The Internet is a public space where women have a right to exist safely and freely without fear,” President Obama said. “After all, the internet is not something separate from our lives… it’s how we connect with one another and get new information.”
In what may have been a passing reference to Democratic presidential frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama stated that women face too much discouragement from seeking high office.
“When it’s long past time for our leaders to reflect the majority of the population,” Obama said. “Would it be better for America if women weren’t discouraged from seeking office because of double standards, and we had more women in positions and high office?”
The president concluded that women would likely run the country better, adding, “I’m not saying you all are always right… I’m in a household where I’m outnumbered, and I know there are times when you, too, can be somewhat unreasonable.”
Earlier in Women’s History Month, on Mar. 2, House Minority Leader Pelosi hosted a reception honoring female veterans, ABC News reports.
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke during the event, telling women veterans “it’s important that you tell your own stories… Our girls, our daughters and granddaughters, need to hear them."