We have come so far, but yet have so far to go: That was the bottom line from the first-ever women’s summit held Tuesday.
With 5,000 women in attendance from across the country tuned in speakers including President Obama and the First Lady, actor Kerry Washington, FGM survivor Jaha Dukureh and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi all took the stage to discuss how to end sexual violence, combat LGBTQ discrimination and close the gender wage gap. It was the first ever White House summit dedicated exclusively to gender equality.
In his remarks, President Obama announced a pay initiative at the summit touching on the need to break away from stereotypes. “If we are going to truly change our policies and our politics, then we’re also going to have to change something else,” Obama said. “We’re going to have to change the way we see ourselves … we’re still boxed in by stereotypes about how men and women should behave.”
In the areas of civic engagement and entrepreneurship, the Summit highlights that women hold less than a quarter of elected offices in the US, and are only 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Enabling girls and women to raise their voices and step into their power in both business and politics is key to the future of our country and our world.
The summit continues today and will be live streamed for online viewers.