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Obama creates US women's panel

Obama creates US women's panel

President Barack Obama invoked his grandmother, single mother and two young daughters on Wednesday in creating a White House panel to advise him on issues facing U.S. women and girls.
Obama, standing with prominent members of his administration and with his wife sitting nearby, signed an executive order creating an across-the-government council designed to help Cabinet agencies and departments collaborate on ways to make sure women were provided opportunities offered to men.
"I sign this order not just as president, but also as a son, a grandson, a husband and a father, because growing up, I saw my mother put herself through school to follow her passion for helping others," Obama said. "But I also saw how she struggled to raise me and my sister on her own, worrying about how she would pay the bills, educate herself and provide for us."
He said he signed the order to honor all the women who came before him, such as his grandmother who was a bank vice president but was denied promotions because of her gender. He said the fight for gender equality is far from over.
"Now, it's up to us to carry on that hope, to ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have no limits on their greatness, no obstacles to their achievements, that they have opportunities that their mothers, their grandmother and great-grandmothers never dreamed of," Obama said.
He also said his own experiences with the women in his life reflect the challenges of all women.
"I've seen it in Michelle, the rock of the Obama family, juggling work and parenting with more skill and grace than anybody that I know. But I also saw how it tore at her at times. How sometimes, when she was with the girls, she was worried about work; when she was at work, she worried about the girls."
Obama named senior adviser Valerie Jarrett _ herself a single mother _ to head the group, which would include Cabinet secretaries and other administration officials. White House aide Tina Tchen would run its day-to-day operations.
The announcement comes as part of the administration's push to mark Women's History Month. At the State Department, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton planned to join Michelle Obama to present the department's Award for International Women of Courage.


Updated : 2021-04-20 21:52 GMT+08:00