We applaud President Barack Obama on his recent executive order in creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. His efforts to ensure that cabinet-level agencies coordinate their policies and programs that affect women and families are sorely needed.
However, we join with more than 50 national organizations in supporting congressional legislation that would go one step further and create a permanent Presidential Commission on Women. President Obama’s council — which currently is set up as an interagency task force with no full-time staff, no Cabinet-level leader and no set meeting schedule — is only the first step
The proposed bipartisan commission, patterned after a similar presidential commission created by President Kennedy in 1961, would address the inequalities that women experience, particularly now in our precarious economy.
The council alone, however, cannot achieve its goals. It will require the coordination and combined efforts of Congress and all federal agencies. The Council cannot just be an attempt to undo disastrous women’s policies by the former Bush administration. A dedicated commission would make sure that women are in equitable power at every level of government across the country — which is instrumental in affecting policies that currently put women at a disadvantage.
Stacey G. Newman
Missouri Women’s Coalition