Courtsey of MSN
On February 12nd, 2013, President Obama addressed the United States and delivered the State of the Union, saying the Union is indeed strong. From immigration reform, to gun control legislation, to pulling troops out of Afghanistan, President Obama ensured the American people that we have a lot on our plates as Americans and need to get to work right away to make sure we’re moving forward as a country. While discussing these issues, Americans could tell that Obama was sincere and motivated to start working on the issues that he discussed in his address.
As all of these issues effect all Americans, there is one group in this country that specifically stands out: women. As women make up the majority of the United States population, it’s vital that our country lays out opportunities for us all to achieve equality in this country. Us women can’t automatically wish for equality and have it appear at our front door steps. Sadly, that’s not how it works in this country. We all have to strive and work for equality.
Obama laid out a plan to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act (which, if passed, would ensure all women are paid the same amount in the work force as their male counterparts) to the table and wants to start pushing Congress to focus on the piece of legislation. For years, implementing fair pay among women and men in the work force has been a struggle among many. Since President Obama mentioned the act in his State of the Union address, the country shall wait and see if it’s one of his top priorities for this country, and to see if he’s truly ready to establish equality the work force.
Not only that, but Obama also mentioned and talked about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and how the House needs to pass the up-to-date version of the 1994 law, which include protecting members of the LGBTQUIA community and Native Americans against domestic violence. Domestic violence is a serious issue in this country that needs to be paid attention to and discussed about more often, rather than being deemed a hush-hush issue. Including these two minority groups would open up the discussion of domestic violence even more so and these groups wouldn’t be excluded, as they often have been excluded before. It’s vital to let the LGBTQUIA community and Native Americans know that they can be covered under VAWA. President Obama made it very clear that Congress, as well as the country, needs to takes domestic violence against ALL women in this country very seriously.
The State of the Union addressed many issues, but among the many issues mentioned was the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Violence Against Women Act, both of which effect women tremendously in this country. Yes, Rep. Lynn Jenkins is going to keep rolling her eyes when just hearing the Paycheck Fairness Act being mentioned by President Obama and The Heritage Foundation is going to continuously spread inaccurate information about the Violence Against Women Act, but Americans need to realize that we all have a lot of work ahead of us. If we work diligently and we’re committed to getting these pieces of legislation passed and on Obama’s desk, we can certainly move forward as a country. Besides, hard work DOES pay off, doesn’t it?