SOMETIMES THERE IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THINGS MUST CHANGE AND LEADERS MUST ACT. THAT MOMENT IS NOW FOR THE WOMEN OF THIS COUNTRY.
THE LESSONS OF THE 2008 ELECTION WERE ABUNDANT:
- As the economy became the single most critical issue in the election, the role that women play in our economic structure has never been clearer. Women are the backbone of the nation’s workforce and control 70 percent of its buying power.
- The candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, while inspiring women and girls around the country to imagine what can be, exposed extreme gender bias in the media and throughout our culture.
- Women, who make up 56 percent of the voting population, were targeted as never before as the critical bloc that would determine the outcome of the election. Indeed, women were at the center of the conversation in this election.
In 1961, as the nation grappled with the issue of women in the workplace, President John Kennedy convened the first Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. Kennedy recognized the moment was right.
That was 48 years ago, and it’s time to do it again. As in 1961, women are at the forefront of our political discourse – and we are committed to keeping them there.
The Commission will be established and developed in the spirit of the new Obama Administration and its commitment to bipartisanship and grassroots participation. We will turn to you, the grassroots movement of women that we are creating together, to help determine the priorities for the Commission.
A record number of women are seeking ways to participate more fully in all aspects of American life, politics and policymaking. A Presidential Commission on Women is the right vehicle to initiate a national conversation on the future of women. It's our time!