This past week, the Council on Women and Girls held its monthly Younger Women’s Call. I was happy to kick-off the call and welcome all those able to attend. Allison Randall, from the White House Office on Violence Against Women, then spoke to the group on domestic violence as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Allison not only reiterated the Obama Administration’s firm commitment to ending domestic violence, but she also reminded call participants about the challenges we all face in changing attitudes toward domestic violence. She asked those on the call to get involved with the White House’s efforts to end domestic violence by visiting the White House’s facebook page – learn more by accessing our page - and communicating with her Office.
Next Miti Sathe, Associate Director on Youth Outreach in the Office of Public Engagement, spoke about two particular legislative accomplishments and how such accomplishments benefit the youth population – the Affordable Care Act and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, September 23rd marked the Affordable Care Act’s 6 month anniversary and as a result, most preventative services are now free and youth can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they turn 26. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s passage ensured stronger protections for consumers against unfair credit card practices, such as rate hikes for existing credit card balances. One of the Act’s features also created a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, led by Elizabeth Warren.
Will Jawando, Associate Director on Education in the Office of Public Engagement, closed the call by speaking about the President’s commitment to educate our nation’s youth from ‘cradle to career’ and asked the call participants to help further this commitment through their advocacy. Will also touched upon the Race to the Top program, which was designed to spur reforms in state and local district K-12 education, and the President’s goal to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
The call concluded with time for folks to ask questions and share their thoughts. The voice of younger women is important to the Obama Administration and hearing from younger women advocates from across the country is always the best part of the call! If you would like to get involved with our youth calls and/or our broader women and girl’s outreach efforts, please contact us at http://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/cwg.
Jenny Kaplan is Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls