On January 20, 2015, United States President Barack Obama made his sixth State of the Union address. Obama was met with warm praise, as he touched upon various topics pertaining to women’s rights. Amongst the various subjects, women were directly addressed in five key fields: affordable childcare, paid sick leave, equal pay for work, reproductive rights and the rights of marginalized groups.
Here are some of the feminist highlights of Obama’s address, some identified by MS Magazine:
“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality child care more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have: it’s a must-have. So it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”
“We are the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. … And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington.”
“This Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. It’s 2015. It’s time.”
“We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely, we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care that she needs.”
“As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened… That’s why we defend free speech and advocate for political prisoners and condemn the persecution of women or religious minorities or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”
With this precedent, it looks like 2015 is going to be an exiting year for feminism!