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It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode, and give every woman the opportunity she deserves.
Asserting that "it's an embarrassment" that women working the same jobs and the same hours don't get the same pay as a man, President Obama vowed to keep fighting—despite repeated Republican obstruction—not only for the Paycheck Fairness Act, but for raising the minimum wage and enacting an overall economic agenda that help American women.

And he made the case that what benefits women benefits us all.

This is an economic issue that affects all of us. Women make up about half our workforce. And more and more, they’re our families’ main breadwinners. So it’s good for everyone when women are paid fairly.
He listed ways his administration is working to make life easier for women: review of national overtime rules, raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, providing preventive care for women through Obamacare, looking for ways to ensure that pregnant women can take leave without losing their jobs, or can care for children when they are ill.

But we all know there's a roadblock to progress, right?

Here’s the problem, though. On issues that would benefit millions of women, Republicans in Congress have blocked progress at every turn. Just this week, Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would help more women win equal pay for equal work. House Republicans won’t vote to raise the minimum wage or extend unemployment insurance for women out of work through no fault of their own. The budget they passed this week would force deep cuts to investments that overwhelmingly benefit women and children – like Medicaid, food stamps, and college grants. And of course, they’re trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the fiftieth or so time, which would take away vital benefits and protections from millions of women.
He concluded the address with a reminder of why this fight is so important:
We do better when our economy grows for everybody, not just a few.  And when women succeed, America succeeds.
To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
April 12, 2014

Hi, everybody. Earlier this week was Equal Pay Day. It marks the extra time the average woman has to work into a new year to earn what a man earned the year before. You see, the average woman who works full-time in America earns less than a man – even when she’s in the same profession and has the same education.

That's wrong. In 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.

This is an economic issue that affects all of us. Women make up about half our workforce. And more and more, they’re our families’ main breadwinners. So it’s good for everyone when women are paid fairly. That’s why, this week, I took action to prohibit more businesses from punishing workers who discuss their salaries – because more pay transparency makes it easier to spot pay discrimination. And I hope more business leaders will take up this cause.

But equal pay is just one part of an economic agenda for women.

Most lower-wage workers in America are women. So I’ve taken executive action to require federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour. I ordered a review of our nation’s overtime rules, to give more workers the chance to earn the overtime pay they deserve. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, tens of millions of women are now guaranteed free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care, and the days when you could be charged more just for being a woman are over for good. Across the country, we’re bringing Americans together to help us make sure that a woman can have a baby without sacrificing her job, or take a day off to care for a sick child or parent without hitting hardship. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode, and give every woman the opportunity she deserves.

Here’s the problem, though. On issues that would benefit millions of women, Republicans in Congress have blocked progress at every turn. Just this week, Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would help more women win equal pay for equal work. House Republicans won’t vote to raise the minimum wage or extend unemployment insurance for women out of work through no fault of their own. The budget they passed this week would force deep cuts to investments that overwhelmingly benefit women and children – like Medicaid, food stamps, and college grants. And of course, they’re trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the fiftieth or so time, which would take away vital benefits and protections from millions of women.

I’m going to keep fighting to make sure that doesn’t happen. Because we do better when our economy grows for everybody, not just a few.  And when women succeed, America succeeds.  Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great job Mr. President. The Republican Party is (6+ / 0-)

    undermining every facet of society that does not include the super rich.  The media keep saying they will beat Dems in November, but I wouldn't be surprised if some Republican voters in gerrymandered states secretly vote for Democrats.

  •  President is sticking it to the (5+ / 0-)

    Republicans quite a lot.  I'm enjoying it.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:36:37 AM PDT

  •  Interesting timing, no? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    I wish the WH would just stay away from these issues and let other Dem women leaders do the talking.  We are, after all, using these issues to get women to vote in the midterms, not a presidential election.

    Do we really need the boys club in the WH mansplaining to us how Dem women should vote?

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

    •  Somehow I doubt "Dem Women leaders" share (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RightHeaded

      this opinion that the President, let's say exactly to whom you are referring...the President should not galvanize his base around these issues. Your dislike of the "WH" does not make for sound campaign electoral strategy.

    •  Wow, Betty. The president is in a "boys club" in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, RightHeaded

      The White House and he's "mansplaining?". LOL.  He's fighting for equal pay for women against REPUBLICANS in Congress in an election year, causing women like me to get fired up and ready to vote those fuckers out of office in November.  He's finally using his bully pulpit to call these bastards out for what they're doing and I say thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you!

      GOTV and take back the House and keep the Senate come November so we can have equal pay for equal work!

      Best. President. Ever.

      by Little Lulu on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:03:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that's old news (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elizaveta

        His record of appointing and retaining women to his administration isn't very good, witness the one just thrown under the bus yesterday.

        Women don't need a bunch of men dictating economic policy details to them.  They're capable of doing it themselves.    Women's economic policy is an extremely important area, influencing the lives and well being of millions of women, of all ages.   It should be approached in an intelligent fashion, with all policy details made public and open to discussion and debate.

        Half measures and ThirdWay//DLC type policy on women's issues is a non-starter.  Let's study this in depth and do it right.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:24:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just that women deserve equal pay... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, rebel ga

    ..., men have become dysfunctional.  Women, the sex of the species that has a typically more balanced brain, better social skills, and the same average but more balanced IQ are the last hope of humankind.

    Unless women start taking a leading role in politics, industry and society in general, we are doomed.

    Yes, if they do the same work they should get paid the same.  No brainer.  The fact that this has not generally happened speaks volumes about men.

    Civilization and the human race hang in the balance.  When I see 50% of the elected positions held by women and not just 16%.  When I see 10 times more women CEOs and of course, when I see women earning the same as men for the same jobs, I will know we will survive.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:38:44 AM PDT

    •  Agree, and women should be deciding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      these policy changes, not a bunch of men, even if they're Democrats.  A few exec orders are nice, but perhaps it would be best if Obama let the next Dem woman POTUS and the Dem women leaders in Congress determine the policy details and agenda, instead of someone from GE or Walmart or Goldman Sachs.

      I get the impression Obama is trying to cast the details of women's workplace and economic public policy in stone before he leaves office, without allowing women leaders or trusted women advocates at the table.  That's not his job, but undoubtedly, someone is pushing him to do it.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:59:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been noticing a real shift in tone these days (3+ / 0-)

    whenever President Obama speaks about Congress.  He's no longer studiously avoiding identifying the culprits who block everything this country needs.  He's finally calling them by their party name.  I call them Rethuglicans.  He, of course, is more polite.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 07:48:12 AM PDT

  •  When he leaves office he is going to be the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little Lulu, NedSparks

    most sought after speaker ever, not only here in America, but around the world. He is going to be very very popular post-presidency. Every single democratic candidate is going to want him campaigning on their behalf in the years to come.

    So while he's still in office, I think he brings with him a tremendous amount of inspiration for voters to concentrate on 2014 races. He may not be on the ballot, but his policies are. And I for one believe he needs to be the face of this year's elections. People like him and love seeing him in person.

    There was a video up last night of him driving through Times Square and those who were there said people were lined up 30 deep to catch a glimpse of him going by. There were big cheers for him when he did.

    •  We will see (0+ / 0-)

      as long as the Hague doesn't come calling...

      The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

      by Jazzenterprises on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 09:01:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you mean Obama who is popular in the Hague? As (0+ / 0-)

        this article states:

        President Obama's trip last week underscored one thing: He's more popular abroad than he is at home.

        Crowds lined the streets of Brussels, The Hague and Rome to catch a glimpse of Obama's motorcade. The crowd watching Obama's speech at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels was described as "star-struck."

        Obama is so popular in the Netherlands, where he began his trip, that there's an Obama Club, PRI reports. Its members get together and discuss issues relevant to Obama's presidency, including foreign policy and diversity.

        "These countries in Western Europe are really Obama countries," historian Willem Post told the PRI radio show "The World." "I think that has to do with the fact that this is a U.S. president who calls himself a global citizen [and urges] diplomacy first."

        Sure the Hague will call him. But not for what your comment is implying. But since the citizens of the Hague do not hold ill regard for Obama, as you implied, you can imply something else that is purely false too....
  •  If I were a republican, (0+ / 0-)

    and thank God I'm not, I would be totally ashamed, embarrassed, and down right appalled at their deliberate agenda of taking this country down.

  •  Great article, but remember WHY we fight (0+ / 0-)

    Great article, with great information! However, I think President Obama put it best when he said, "when women succeed, America succeeds." It's important for all of us to remember the reason equal pay is so important. To say that women deserve equal pay because they are the superior gender, or the last hope for mankind, makes us no better than the Republicans who make similarly unsupported claims. We, as a group of informed and aware individuals, must know that equal pay is important because discrimination is innately detrimental to society. The best governments rule through a system of objective reasoning, and subjectively discriminating against women allows the government to subjectively discriminate against anyone. That is why we fight, and we must remember this (otherwise, we are no better than the liberal version of the Tea Party).

  •   Accidental feminist Lyndon Johnson (0+ / 0-)

    Good to be reminded of Civil Rights work by President Johnson, the unacknowledged accidental feminist advancing humanity.  The unintended outcome of the Civil Rights Bill was women's rights added to the bill in an attempt at the last minute to sabotage the passing of the Civil Rights bill.  True story.

    Peggy Reskin Barefootfrontunners.com

    by preskin on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:31:09 AM PDT

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