White House Council on Women & Girls, May 2013


White House Council on Women & Girls

White House Women’s Update: An Investment in Our Nation’s Future

obama may 2013 women and girls


Last week, President Obama spoke about the ways the Affordable Care Act is positively impacting the health and lives of women and their families.

You can read more about the President’s commitment to health care for women in his 2013 proclamation for National Women’s Health Week.

Over the weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University, and earlier this week, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, met with a coalition of mothers and children who use their voices to speak out about the importance of high-quality, early education.

Thank you for all that you do.

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week

health week 2013 obamaPresident Obama issued a proclamation in honor of “National Women’s Health Week.”

As Secretary Sebelius said, National Women’s Health Week is a time when “As a nation, we honor the women in our lives – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, and colleagues – by encouraging them to make their health a priority and to take steps to live healthier, happier lives.”

You can get more information and tools on National Women’s Health Week here and you can follow on Twitter using #NWHW.

Presidential Proclamation — National Women’s Health Week, 2013




Since our Nation’s founding, women have given their all to expanding opportunity for their families and for future generations. Decade after decade, that fierce dedication has been rewarded with remarkable progress in nearly every part of society; yet all too often, advances in women’s health and well-being have lagged behind. During National Women’s Health Week, we recommit to changing that reality and increasing access to health services that help women and girls get the care they need.

Three years ago, I signed the Affordable Care Act — reform that brought about a new era of equality in health care and gave women unprecedented control over their health. Under the law, women will no longer face higher insurance premiums because of their gender. It will be illegal for insurers to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions like pregnancy or cancer. Already, 47 million women have gained access to preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost, including well-woman visits, domestic violence screenings and counseling, and contraceptive care. And millions more are benefitting from improved prescription drug coverage under Medicare that helps seniors get the medication they need at prices they can afford.

These changes are making a real difference for families in every part of our country. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, working mothers no longer have to choose between getting essential care and paying their bills. Women no longer have to delay mammograms just because money is tight. And young people can stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26, so they no longer have to worry about how to afford health care when they are just starting out. I encourage women of all ages to visit www.WomensHealth.gov, www.GirlsHealth.gov, and www.HealthCare.gov to learn more about resources available to them, including the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

This week, as we reflect on how far we have come in the fight to provide Americans with the care they deserve, let us renew our commitment to empowering all women with the chance to live strong, healthy lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 12 through May 18, 2013, as National Women’s Health Week. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the progress we have made in protecting women’s health and to promote awareness, prevention, and educational activities that improve the health of all women.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University

michelle obama kentucky  2013First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement at the EKU Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky., May 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated a new class of graduates from Eastern Kentucky University.

“You all went through so much to make it to this day — the highs and the lows, the triumphs, the challenges, the celebrations, the devastations — and I’m not just talking about your love lives, either,” the First Lady told the graduates. “I’m talking about all those papers you poured your heart into; all those caffeine-fueled all-nighters; those moments of anxiety as you set out on your own, looking to find new friends you clicked with and a new community to call your own.”

At Eastern Kentucky, the students were part of a community committed to public service — and in the past year, the seniors and their classmates put in more than 107,000 hours of volunteer work. And Mrs. Obama told the Class of 2013 that they needed to maintain that commitment as graduates.

You can read the full text of the First Lady’s remarks here.

Meeting with Mothers and Advocates for Our Children

meeting moms(Jeff Martin, National Women’s Law Center)

During his State of the Union address in February, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every four-year old in America.

As the President put it that day:

“In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”

This week Cecilia Muñoz met with mothers, leaders, and tireless advocates that understand that the best investment we can make as a country is in our children’s future.

You can read Cecilia’s full post here.

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