On April 6th, 2011, the Center for American Progress and American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies held a special presentation entitled ‘Obama in Office: Assessing the First Two Years’. I tuned into the live webcast to catch the third and final discussion panel: ‘Has President Obama Changed the Way Washington Works? Obama, Lobbyists, Women, and Managing the Executive Branch,’ featuring presentations from Jennifer Lawless, Beryl Radin, and James A. Thurber.
Submitted by Kate Meyer on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 4:13pm
*By Kate Meyer
Last week Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Preeta Bansal, General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, hosted a White House Webchat to highlight findings from the recently released report Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being. Here at NCRW we were thrilled to see Jarrett and Bansal advocating for the same policies and programs that are on our agenda.
Yesterday, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) convened a call with the National Women's Law Center, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and First Five Years Fund. The purpose of the call was to raise awareness about the current precarious position of early childhood funding.
Originally posted February 2, 2011 on The Huffington Post
By Linda Basch
President Obama's State of the Union address was heartening for its forward looking focus on collaboration, innovation, and sustainable growth but there was a missed opportunity to pay attention to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid, especially women of color and their families, who are being left out of the current policy debate.
While there is much to applaud about President Obama's speech -- its calls for increased civility and investments in education, alternative energy, and infrastructure without back-peddling on health care, there was only one brief allusion to the millions who are being underserved: "our most vulnerable citizens."
Washington Post: The Obama administration has launched a teen pregnancy prevention program that will fund programs scientifically proven to work as well as programs that are testing "innovative strategies." So far, $105 million dollars has been awarded to 115 different organizations.
"...After declining for years, the teen pregnancy rate increased, but the pace at which teens were having babies appeared to stop falling or even inch up. Now, the Obama administration has entered the politically sensitive debate, promising to put scientific evidence before political ideology. A $110 million campaign will support a range of programs, including those that teach about the risks of specific sexual activities and the benefits of contraception and others that focus primarily on encouraging teens to delay sex. The initiative exemplifies the administration's oft-repeated quest to find new strategies to defuse some of the nation's most divisive issues. In this case, officials are hoping to appease advocates of teaching teens about condoms and other forms of birth control as well as those who oppose sex outside marriage.
Although the program is being hailed by many adolescent health experts, it is being denounced by some on both sides of the abstinence debate."
On Thursday, October 21st I jumped on the phone with other NCRW staffers to get the latest dish on women and the economy straight from the source: The White House. Valerie Jarrett, the Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, announced the launch of a new report: Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women.
Miami Herald:Obama already has done more to diversify the Supreme Court than any other president, however, the road to confirmation is slow and long. So far, 43% of Obama' nominees, are women and minorities, a much higher rate than any of his predecessors, according to an analysis by Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group based in Washington.
"President Barack Obama is appointing women and minorities to federal judgeships at an unprecedented rate. But with the Senate at loggerheads over judicial nominees, it's a long waiting game for many of the nontraditional nominees — and a source of frustration for their advocates.
However, In the latest sign of easing the logjam on Capitol Hill, the Senate on Monday confirmed three of Obama's appointees: Tanya Walton Pratt, who became the first African-American federal judge in Indiana history; Brian Jackson, who became the second African-American judge to serve on the district court in the Middle District of Louisiana; and Elizabeth Erny Foote, who won a seat to the district court for the Western District of Louisiana."
Women's groups are upset over the Obama's administration lack of progress on women's issues. Many activists feel that the administration is not taking enough initiative to move the issues that affect women forward.
"Many women's groups feel that the Obama administration has not made the promised progress on issues affecting women. Advocates request stronger leadership, funding on the Violence Against Women Act, and ensuring that the Paycheck Fairness Act gets passed through Congress. In addition, they cite the White House Council on Women and Girls as a "real disappointment" and "form over substance.
To be sure, there's no doubt that some progress has been made. If Elena Kagan is confirmed, a third of the nation's highest court will be female, thanks to Obama's nomination of Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor last year; the hate crimes legislation included gender identity and gender; the Obama administration has strengthened Title IX; and the health care bill did increase access to ob-gyn and midwifery care and mandate that some insurance companies stop charging women of the same age and health status more for insurance than men, a practice known as "gender rating." Also, this is the first administration to have a White House advisor on violence against women"
President Obama issued an executive memorandum yesterday ordering the Department of Health and Human Services to write new rules that will mandate equal visitation rights for all hospitals that participate in Medicaid or Medicare.
In the memorandum, Obama writes that the new rules must require that "participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability."