Women’s Council of Women and Girls: Obama Jobs Package Announcement


Weekly Women’s Update

Welcome to the Council on Women and Girls Weekly Highlights! With Labor Day (and President Obama’s Jobs Package Announcement) fast approaching, our focus is on women and jobs. The Economic Recovery has been slower for women and the Council on Women and Girls is working hard to ensure that we help support the populations in need. A comprehensive approach includes the soon to be announced jobs package as well as our other efforts to ensure economic security and jobs for America’s women. Our strategy includes initiatives such as: ensuring pay equity, supporting women-owned small businesses, improving workplace flexibility policies, attracting and retaining women and girls to STEM fields, and helping attract and train women in growing industries and non-traditional jobs.

This past Wednesday, the President announced a commitment to double engineering internships in 2012 promising measures toward a more successful future. The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, in partnership with the Business Council, Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council, announced that 45 industry leaders have committed to double the engineering internships available at their companies in 2012. These commitments will add over 6,000 additional opportunities for hands-on, technical job training for future engineers. Women are well underrepresented in STEM jobs, and this partnership is a great step toward an increase in the amount of young women that are able to gain opportunities in related industries. Read more on this commitment to engineering internships.


President Barack Obama visits the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to monitor the latest on Hurricane Irene, Aug. 27, 2011.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) .

This past Monday, as millions of people along the East Coast began to recover from the damage of Hurricane Irene, the President reflected on the six year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We are remembering the families that suffered and were displaced in 2005.

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Labor Day 2011: Celebrating Working Women
As America celebrates Labor Day 2011, the Women’s Bureau honors and respects the many contributions of women workers and our women veterans; yet, the broader story of women in this country is a story of both unyielding progress and limitless potential. Today, women comprise nearly half of our country’s workforce. They are serving our country at every level, from caring for our elderly, to teaching our children to serving at the highest levels of government. And women are breaking barriers in every field, from science to business to the Armed Forces.

Protecting the Rights of Women and Girls
Human trafficking — the equivalent of modern day slavery — is an affront to human dignity, and goes against everything our country stands for. And yet, it occurs in so many communities; workers are exploited for labor behind closed doors, hidden from the public eye. This includes horrific incidents of sex trafficking, where women and girls are forced into prostitution, often after being lured from other countries with promises of legitimate employment and better lives. This week, Tom Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the US Department of Justice, had the opportunity to discuss the Justice Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking at the Hispanic National Bar Association’s annual convention in Dallas, where he was also honored as Hispanic Lawyer of the Year.

First Lady Names Respected Pediatrician Judith S. Palfrey, M.D. to Lead Let’s Move! Program
First Lady Michelle Obama today announced that one of the country’s leading pediatricians, Judith S. Palfrey, M.D., will lead her Let’s Move! childhood obesity initiative as Executive Director starting on Tuesday, September 6. For decades, Dr. Palfrey has provided clinical care to thousands of children and families, conducted groundbreaking pediatric research, taught future physicians and led major medical organizations. Palfrey has been a longtime supporter of the Let’s Move! campaign and spoke at its launch in February of 2010 when she was president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Maya Angelou’s Abundant Hope Empowering

This past Sunday, the Martin Luther King Memorial was scheduled to be dedicated exactly 48 years after Dr. King’s historic March on Washington. The toll from Hurricane Irene unfortunately led to the cancellation of this National Mall event. A few events went on as scheduled, including the White House Women Who Dare to Dream luncheon, which honored the women of the Civil Rights movement whose legacy of strength and dignity continues to inspire hope. Dr. Maya Angelou shared a poem she had written for Sunday’s dedication at the luncheon, where guests also paid special tribute to a great woman icon, Coretta Scott King.

Military Families and the Civilian Community to Work Together Celebrating Women’s Equality Day
At a recent Champions of Change event, we honored an amazing woman, Pamela Stokes Eggleston, who has dedicated her life’s work to helping support military spouses. In 2009, this Champion of Change, helped to create Blue Star Families with a group of dedicated military spouses to support, empower and connect military families to each other, to their communities and to decision makers.

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day
Last Friday we commemorated Women’s Equality Day, on the 91st anniversary of the 19th Amendment; it was a day to remember valiant women that stood in the face of adversity for basic rights—the right to vote. To read more about this celebration, check out the blog post from Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, on Women’s equality.

We the People: Announcing White House Petitions & How They Work
We’re announcing We the People before it’s live to give folks time to think about what petitions they want to create, and how they are going to build the support to get a response.

Here are the basics: Individuals will be able to create or sign a petition that calls for action by the federal government on a range of issues.

If a petition gathers enough support (i.e., signatures) it will be reviewed by a standing group of White House staff, routed to any other appropriate offices and generate an official, on-the-record response.

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