White House focuses on women
Valerie Jarrett, (left), President Obama's senior adviser and chairwoman of the White House Council on Women and Girls, hosts Friday's forum on economic policies and women.
April 5th, 2012
10:02 PM ET

White House focuses on women

For the third year in a row, the White House is holding a conference focused on women but they insist politics has nothing to do with it.

The White House Council on Women and Girls is hosting the White House Forum on Women and the Economy where business leaders, education leaders, and Cabinet secretaries will discuss a gamut of issues from healthcare to workplace flexibility to help for small businesses run by women. President Obama will address the diverse group of participants when he gives the keynote remarks in the morning session.

There will also be breakout sessions where there will be further discussions on ways to help women's lives better through economic and social policy. Several Cabinet secretaries, like Attorney General Eric Holder and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will lead panel discussions.

The White House will also be releasing a 55-page report on all the ways various departments and agencies have implemented policies to benefit women. Some examples of those initiatives are focusing on equal pay for women, affordable college education, tax cuts that benefit women, and healthcare policies, like the recent controversial coverage of contraceptives.

A senior administration official says the president in interested in these topics and the work of the council because he "comes by it naturally." The president was raised by a single mother and also "he is married to a strong woman who juggled her career and her family and now has two wonderful daughters who he hopes will have the best and equal opportunities in life," the senior administration official added.

Critics say this conference is just part of the president's political plan to appeal to women in an election year. The White House insists this has been planned for months and is just part of his overall focus since he created the Council for Women and Girls in the beginning of his administration.

“So why are we focusing on small businesses with a Small Business Job Creation Act? Are we discriminating against big businesses?,” Jay responded. “We’re focusing on women because there are a number of issues that are important with regards to women in the economy, women’s safety, women in education, that are very distinct and important, and we’re proud to host the conference.”


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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. John Primavera

    Congratulations, Mr. President, for standing against this kind of segregation. Now if you would follow your commenting
    on the gender exclusion at Augusta with a comment on why we tolerate women-only colleges in our country – - such
    as Mills College, that refuse to enroll male students? Such gender exclusion of men at more than 100 female-only
    campuses is unfair. What do you say, President Obama?

    April 6, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • 1tonks

      Really, 2000 yrs of discrimination of women and you are asking that question?

      April 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • Femenists-Sux

        200 years of discrimination my axx. In the Vietham eara where were all these splitails going to war. NO they were busy advancing thier carears and burning thier bras.

        April 7, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Howard

      OBAMA IS USING WOMEN AS POLITICAL PAWNS, IN THIS TRUMPED UP BOGUS ISSUE, TO TAKE ATTENTION AWAY FROM HIS FAILED PRESIDENCY. ANYONE WHO CAN'T SEE THROUGH THIS CHARADE, IS BRAIN DEAD.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Biotechdev

        agree. first it was class warfare, the race warfare, then racial warfare, now gender warfare. As an American businesswoman – I need Obama out of the WH in 2012 to be succesful. His policies are killing the economy

        April 8, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  2. Mary

    WONEN LOVE PRESIDENT OBAMA BIG TIME!!!

    April 6, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Lizzie

      And he LOVES women

      April 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Biotechdev

      I am a woman in business, and I DON'T love Obama. His economic poilicies are ruining our country and the ability of businesses to survive

      April 8, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  3. John

    It is a good thing to do, but everything is about politics.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Biotechdev

      He has a list of distrdation from teh economy to talk about till November. Too bad he won't focus on the economy – I guess he figures anything he could do to improve the economy will tick off one of his voting bases

      April 8, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  4. lilli

    if this is the third year than of course the main thing is not about politics but it don't hurt either. Good job Mr President. Woman have always been a part of your agenda. Obama 2012

    April 6, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Biotechdev

      Yep – lip service to women apparently trumps UE over 8% and the debt now over GDP?

      April 8, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  5. Reva G McNair

    Why is CNN so disrespectfully to the president of the Unithed State of American ? I noticed when you cover the president Barack Obama speaking live whether a breif or not CNN will cut in with a panel discussion .or take a break
    you just did it while he comment on women. I change the channel.

    April 6, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  6. The REAL TRUTH...

    Given that this is year THREE – not the first, the GOP will spin it (of course) as politically motivated. Nothing the Obama camp can say will sway those who already have duct tape over their own rose colored glasses.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Steveo

      The right is doing to Obama what the left did to Bush. Simple politics! Not new, not always fair, but simple politics. This will happen again! The right played the victim back then and the left is playing the victim now! Nothing new!

      April 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • John

        One major difference – the media loves BO.

        April 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Steveo

        Good point!

        April 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        No Steveo...remember? You 'rightist' reminded us that Bush and his gang didn't mess up the standing of this nation in the world all alone, you said the 'leftist' sat by and let them do it! You all made sure to let us know that we signed off on those 'failed policies'!

        April 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
      • Steveo

        Wrong again LIz! Just ask Chris "Tingly Legs" Matthews. The media is falling all over themselves!

        April 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Howard

      THERE IS NOTHING THAT WILL OPENT THE EYES OF THE BLINDLY DEVOTED OBAMA STOOGES, TO WHAT A COMPLETE CHARLATAN OBAMA IS, NOT THE TRUTH, NOT WITNESSING OUR COUNTRY GOING DOWN THE TUBES, BECAUSE OF HIS NUMEROUS FAILED POLICIES ... YOU JUST CAN'T FIX STUPID.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        There is also nothing that can open the eyes of the insane, who will argue with a sign board! One who will deny that it's his face looking back at him in a mirror! LOL!! Diehard Rebels forever!! 'Hell naw! I ain't fergettin'!! LOL!!

        April 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
      • 1tonks

        You really think one man got us into this mess? The GOP has had a LOT of responsibility in taking this country downhill!

        April 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • Dan5404

        No, they just keep blogging GOP right-wing fantasy talking points.

        April 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
      • Ben

        Howard, you should be ashame of yourself. The republicans have done notting to help this country fix any of the big problem we face. All they care about is how to defeat him. Inspite of the fact that republicans were primarily responsible for the economic mess we find ourselves.
        The great thing about this is that republicans cannot accuse Obama of doing this for political reason. The fact is that the very first bill Obama signed as president was the equal pay, for equal work for women law. Since then he have done other things to help women businesses, encouraging young girls to go into professions that used to be primarily men's domain.
        You can't say that about the republicans who think (by their legislations) that the best way to treat a lady is to dectate to them how they should take care of their body.

        April 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Ben

        Howard, you should be ashame of yourself. The republicans have done notting to help this country fix any of the big problem we face. All they care about is how to defeat him. Inspite of the fact that republicans were primarily responsible for the economic mess we find ourselves.
        The great thing about this is that republicans cannot accuse Obama of doing this for political reason. The fact is that the very first bill Obama signed as president was the equal pay, for equal work for women law. Since then he have done other things to help women businesses, encouraging young girls to go into professions that used to be primarily men's domain.

        April 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
      • Biotechdev

        The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.
        The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.
        The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day.
        The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.

        April 8, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Dan5404

      Of course it's political, why should it not be? I believe it's an election year, right? No difference than Santorum or Romney speaking to evangelicals ot Tea Partiers. They are supporters in all three cases.

      April 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  7. RealityBites

    American journalism has hit an all time low. The good news..., no one believes that neutrality crap anymore.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  8. rightytighty

    Perhaps Obama will ask the Muslim Brotherhood for advise on womens issues, since they're meeting on the same day and all.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ben

      Frankly, it seems that the republicans have been in consultation with the Talibans, given the type of legislation the republicans have been focus on. Just like the Taliban, the republicans are waging wars against women.

      April 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  9. d

    Yo Mr Personality, Is your ears ringin, gee , ya think after you pulled that SEVERLY cowardly thing while that yonug lady was being slandered, & you was hidin behind clear channel & rush hurt you just a tad? You is STUPID!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  10. d

    THis Great Prez is now up by over 20 points with woman over Mr Personaliy, & Rassmussen says it is a tie, What they be smokin???

    April 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  11. d

    The Prez is up by 20 points with woman & now that ALECgate has hit the press it will be the same spread wit Latinos , The Elderly, & the poor people.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Sponge-Bob

      Put the kool-aid jug down and get some rest.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • d

        No Sponge tabby, Cant do, This dirtbag mormon of your is trying to steal the election by denying people to vote. Can a brother get all up in that salt lake elders thimg, no why not? caus yor black. OH DAMN, ok how bout a planet of my own, no! why not? caus your black. how bout some majic underwear??? no! why not? caus your black. OH DAMN!

        April 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Lizzie

      So you call Prince Reid a dirtbag too, he is also a Mormon, and your repeating the same LIES as the rest of the liberals, where is anyone denying people to vote. Dead people can't get an ID. If you don't have an ID where do you live, way back in the Ozarks or maybe way back in the Swamps of Louisiana, everyone else needs an ID for something.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Mary 930

      You are right about that . All President Obama has to do is show the film from Huckabee's TV show when Huckabee asked Romney about the Initiative 26 in Mississippi. Romney said the same thing all the red states are doing right now against women. He said he was against abortion under rape, etc.

      April 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  12. d

    yo, is that Joe Torre in the front, yea baby, Torre aint no Willard fan.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  13. janelle

    what a joke! the title of this article should be "white house focuses on ignorant women". How can these liberals say with a straight face that they support women small business owners, when they have their hands around the throats of small business owners and continue the stranglehold. Women business owners are business owners first and foremost. The liberals tell us to hire, but place too many restrictions and mandates on us that make it impossible to hire. We don't know the cost of hiring an employee. We are being mandated not only to provide health insurance, but now to pay for our female employees, wives of male employees, and daughters of any employee, up to the age of 26, contraception. We are being told that our employees get to make choices, and we have no choice but to pay for it. Only ignorant people are going to say this is a good thing. Unfortunately, the ignorant segment of our society is growing exponentially. Only the ignorant don't see that this is not only unsustainable, but completely out of the realm of reality. Sadly, they won't realize their mistakes until it's too late and we can't come back from the abyss.

    April 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  14. Trish le

    i'm crisis frequency of power standard.my computer and phone got hacker

    April 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  15. Trish le

    i'm crisis frequency of power standard.my computer and phone got hacker

    April 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  16. sakho

    WE ALL KNOW REPUBLICANS DEALS WITH TALIBANS .

    April 7, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  17. Marlee

    Looking forward to the first lady President! =)

    April 7, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  18. Marlee

    Speaking of glass ceilings, Pelosi cracked me up with her "little king" commentary on the JOBS Act! You get 'em girl!

    April 7, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Sudhanshu

      Re: released two (2) fregod images of a Certification of Live Birth . In order to see the Certification there has to be images, of course. The images were NOT fregod. Only two guys, who will not give their real names and who will not give their training as forensic experts claim that it was fregod. The officials have repeatedly confirmed the facts on the document. They have not confirmed the image, quite properly because they are not document experts and because an image can be manipulated. But they have not said that it is false either, and they have repeatedly confirmed the fact on it. What would be the point in forging a document if you can get one (and in fact did get one) that says the same thing simply by applying for it? NO official and no opponent of Obama ever said that the document was fregod. The officials confirm the facts on it. That is what counts.RE: Soetoro/Obama has never released a hard copy of any type of Certification of Live Birth or Certificate of Live Birth to anyone other than Factcheck.org. He released it to both Factcheck and Politifact. Whom did McCain or George Bush release their birth certificates to?Re: others have questioned the British citizenship of the father and claimed that even if Soetoro/Obama was born on U.S. soil he would not be a “natural born” U.S. citizen due to his father’s foreign citizenship status. You are right and they are wrong. Since Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a Natural Born Citizen. The original meaning of Natural Born was simply born in the country, and dual nationality has no effect on it. No foreign law can affect the fact that someone was born in the USA, and no foreign law can take away the fact that under our law someone who is born in the USA legally must have sole allegiance to the USA. The other country naturally disagrees, but it is our law that we are discussing, and it is our law that applies. No foreign law can affect the US laws on allegiance and Natural Birth, so Dual Nationality does not affect.Re: Soetoro/Obama’s legal name and his Indonesian Citizenship status? Obama never legally changed his name, and he was never an Indonesian citizen.Re: We believe Soetoro/Obama was born in Kenya.. If Obama were born in Kenya, I would agree that he is not Natural Born. But he wasn't born in Kenya. HIs grandmother never said that he was born in Kenya. She said that he was born in Hawaii. Also, if he were born in Kenya, he would have needed a US travel document to get to the USA, such as a US visa on a foreign passport (in this case a British passport) or an amendment to his mother's US passport while she was in Kenya to include him. Without either of those, how could his family take him from Kenya to the USA? We would not have allowed him to enter the country. If there had been such a document, the application for it would have been recorded and retained in the files of the US State Department, which was under the Republicans until last January. Nothing has been found.In addition to the absence of proof that Obama was born in Kenya or traveled from Kenya to the USA in 1961 (or that his mother traveled to Kenya in 1961, which would have been unlikely because Yellow Fever was still endemic at the time), there is the official birth certificate of Hawaii, and the repeated confirmation of the two officials and the witness who was told of his birth in Hawaii, all of which show that he was born in Hawaii.Re: we are not disputing if in fact Soetoro/Obama was born in Hawaii he would be a U.S. “natural born” citizen. GOOD, because he was born in Hawaii.Re: We believe Soetoro/Obama’s mother was residing in Kenya. Absurd. Yellow fever was rampant. Travel to Kenya from Hawaii was expensive and there were no direct flights, and planes were poorly pressurized. How could he get from Kenya to the USA without a US travel document? His Kenyan grandmother says that he was born in Hawaii. So do the officials and the witness.Re: The fact Soetoro/Obama became Barry Soetoro an Indonesian Citizenship. He was never an Indonesian citizen, as both the US State Department and Indonesian government have said.Re: No records have been located legally changing Barry Soetoro’s name back to Barack H. Obama. No documents have been found legally changing Obama's name to Soetoro.Re: No records have been located showing Soetoro/Obama relinquished his Indonesain citizenship, which was a requirement of Indonesia and outlined in their laws (Indonesia did not allow dual citizenship status). Since he was never an Indonesian citizen, he did not have to relinquish it.Re: why in the world would he spend in excess of a Million Dollars litigating these cases instead of just proving his citizenship status? Because the cases were not to make him show facts, they were to prevent him from being president. All the cases before the election, and those were by far the bulk of all the cases, tried to stop the election. Most of the cases after the election were to stop the Electoral College from voting, stop Congress from certifying the election or stop the Inauguration. There has never been a case against Obama that simply asked for his birth certificate or for documents. He has, by the way, shown the official birth certificate of Hawaii.A small point on fighting cases. If you are sued and do not fight, you lose the case. Thus if Obama did not fight a case that tried to stop the election, the election would have been stopped. That accounts for by far most of the million spent.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  19. Gloria

    Ahhh...the focus is on Women. I am sorry but the day Pres. Obama referred to a female reporter as 'sweety' was the day he lost this long time democratic feminist. He sees so well the inadequacies of others speech but lacks the ability to understand his onw and how it offends. Yes, I AM a typical white woman too.

    April 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm |