March 11, 2009
Director of Communications
WASHINGTON, March 11 — President Barack Obama signed an executive order today creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The council is designed to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronting women and girls, and to ensure that all cabinet and cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper attended today’s signing at the White House.
The White House Council on Women and Girls will be chaired by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, and the day-to-day operations will be run Tina Tchen, currently director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
“Women and girls have made great strides in the United States, but challenges clearly remain. The highest echelons of government need to be aware of and actively engaged in finding solutions to critical issues affecting women and girls — issues like pay equity, threat of violence, work-life balance for working women, and access to affordable health care and child care. Women and their families are particularly vulnerable on all these counts during an economic downturn. Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women face additional obstacles because they are unprotected by most nondiscrimination employment laws and family recognition laws. This new council will hopefully ensure the voices of women and girls are heard and that these issues remain front and center in the White House.”