White House Council on Women and Girls

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On March 11, 2009, two days after International Women's Day, US President Obama signed an executive order creating a
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White House Council on Women and Girls, to help eliminate discrimination and gender inequality, and ensure that government legislation is gender-sensitive and responds to the needs of women and families.

The event was accompanied by a ceremony honouring women who have contributed to helping the plight of girls and women in Afghanistan, Guatemala, Iraq, Malaysia, Niger, Russia, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama were also there to present the Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage.

Contents

The White House Council on Women and Girls

The president has selected Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, to chair the new council.

The executive order states that the purpose of the Council will be to : "establish a coordinated Federal response to issues that particularly impact the lives of women and girls and to ensure that Federal programs and policies address and take into account the distinctive concerns of women and girls, including women of color and those with disabilities."

Membership

The White House Council on Women and Girls will be located within the Executive Office of the President. Membershil will include:

Mission and functions

The Council will work across executive departments and agencies to provide a coordinated Federal response to issues that have a distinct impact on the lives of women and girls, including assisting women-owned businesses to compete internationally and working to increase the participation of women in the science, engineering, and technology workforce, and to ensure that Federal programs and policies adequately take those impacts into account.

The Council shall be responsible for providing recommendations to the President on the effects of pending legislation and executive branch policy proposals; for suggesting changes to Federal programs or policies to address issues of special importance to women and girls; for reviewing and recommending changes to policies that have a distinct impact on women in the Federal workforce; and for assisting in the development of legislative and policy proposals of special importance to women and girls. The functions of the Council are advisory only.

First year priorities

During its first year, the Council will also focus on formulating policies in the following areas:

Sources


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