In case you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty pro-woman around here. Our CEO, Julie Smolyansky, ran the NY Marathon with Christy Turlington Burns to raise money and awareness surrounding maternal health. We encourage women to celebrate their sexuality and we refuse to let a yeast infection get us down.
So you can understand how thrilled we were to attend the recent Women for Obama luncheon in our hometown of Chicago, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and hosted by Jane Lynch of GLEE. After munching on a salad topped with chicken and Greek olives (and chased with a pocket-sized peach cheesecake dessert,) the event kicked off with Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady discussing the numerous strides our President has made in terms of advancing women – and why we need that movement more than ever. “The prior administration,” she began, “undermined Title IX…a women’s right to choose…contraception. It’s good to remember, because we’re right back there. We have only men testifying on reproductive rights…One in five women in college will experience sexual assault while in college.”
That said, the current administration, she pointed out, is fighting to protect women. “We’re using Title IX to make sure schools have a [sexual assault] response system. We’re using Title IX to prevent bullying. The president is standing tall behind equal pay for women.” Regarding health care reform, for the first time ever, Tchen said, children’s well baby care will be covered at no additional cost, and women will be able to obtain birth control, lifesaving mammograms and gestational diabetes screenings with no additional fee or copay.
“The advancement of women is a key part of our national security strategy,” she explained. “Economic empowerment and advancement of women is key to global success of economy.”
Emmy award winning actress and gay rights advocate Jane Lynch introduced FLOTUS, personally thanking the President and First Lady for their dedication to marriage equality, adding, “He’s got our back – we should have his.”
Obama greeted the huge dining room wearing a black and white polka dot dress and her trademark glowing smile. She spoke of the dire need for a society “where we all work to ensure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.” A few of our favorite points:
-“So many women are now breadwinners. Women’s success in this economy is the key to families’ success in this economy.”
“Barack is the son of a single mother. His grandmother woke up before dawn to catch a bus to make it to her job at a bank…where she hit a glass ceiling…watching men [be promoted over her.] He knows what it means when a woman doesn’t have the chance to fulfill her potential.”
-“When a woman has to pay more for her health care or isn’t paid what she [deserves]…the whole family suffers.”
-“Every single woman in this country needs access…and has the wisdom and judgment to know we have to be able to make our own decisions about health care.”
Want to learn more or get in on the action? Visit Barackobama.com and volunteer.