Thursday, January 29, 2015

The State of the Union as it Relates to Women

President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20th, 2015 was said, among many things, to be transformative and progressive. In the 2014 address, the president validated the feelings of women across the country by acknowledging the wage gap between men and women. Many felt that one of the greatest quotes from last year's address was the following, “Today, women make up about half of our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.” With that in mind, women were rightfully anticipating equal or greater representation in this year's SOTU. According to an article written by Emily Tess Katz from the Huffington Post, the president met these expectations. There were four key points that the president made in his 2015 SOTU address that left women across the country cheering:

1.) Mothers should have access to affordable and quality child care. While this is an issue that affects all or most parents, it has the most significant effect on mothers and specifically single mothers. 

2.) All working people should be afforded paid sick time. This arguably has the largest impact on single mothers who are left with very few options when they or their children become sick. 

3.) Over the past year, the wage gap has closed in by a mere penny. The current statistic holds that for every dollar that a man makes, a woman makes 78 cents. The president continues to stand by his position that women deserve equal pay for equal work.

4.) Women deserve paid maternity leave. The president states that it is unacceptable in a nation as advanced as ours that we do not have a mandated paid maternity leave for mothers.

While women are pleased with the president's acknowledgement of these issues, it is clear that they also intend to demand action to follow. Read the article in its entirety here: