The White House today defended the female presence in the current and future society during the first Women’s Summit held by the U.S. government in which matters such as sexual violence or equal pay and rights were addressed.
U.S. president Barack Obama called himself a “feminist” before more than 5,000 women gathered in the Convention Center of the US capital and said that he is “very proud” of what his administration has achieved regarding gender equality throughout the past seven and a half years.
“I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like,” President Obama said to cheers on Tuesday afternoon.
The president underlined some of the steps carried out by his administration for women’s equality such as improving maternity leave conditions or equal pay for federal employees.
Obama used his power to impose these measures for government officials despite lack of legislative action.
“We don’t have to have Congress agree with us. We can go ahead and make progress without waiting for them. They’ll catch up eventually,” he said.
The White House has worked with private companies to promote these changes and announced that more than 20 companies had signed an equal pay and equal employment pledge.
The Department of Labor announced today the revision of several labor standards which could lead to discrimination against women employed in certain federal jobs.
The president also urged young girls to engage more in innovation, science and maths professions, which until recently were monopolized by the male gender.
First lady Michelle Obama announced that more than $20 million dollars will be given to the Government’s program “Let girls learn” which seeks to provide educational opportunities to more than 62 million adolescent girls worldwide who do not have opportunities to attend school.
During the summit, some rape victims told their experiences and raised their voices against abuse, a problem that, in recent times, can be found especially in American universities.