"With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our nation."
President Barack Obama
On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. In his remarks at the signing, the President underscored that the purpose of the Council is to ensure that each of the agencies in which they're charged takes into account the needs of women and girls in the policies they draft, the programs they create, the legislation they support and that the true purpose of our government is to ensure that in America, all things are still possible for all people.
The White House Council on Women and Girls, has as its members the head of every federal agency and major White House office, so that everyone shares in this responsibility. The Council is chaired by Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen serves as the Executive Director. By placing the Council in the White House, we not only emphasize its work, but provide a central point for coordination and cooperation with the overall goals of the Administration. This structure is critical because as the President said at the Executive Order signing, the issues facing women today "are not just women's issues. When women make less than men for the same work, it hurts families who find themselves with less income, and have to work harder just to get by. When a job doesn't offer family leave, that also hurts men who want to help care for a new baby or an ailing parent. When there's no affordable child care, that hurts children who wind up in second-rate care, or spending afternoons alone in front of the television set."