Washington: US President Barack Obama pledged
to continue the fight to help women get fair wages, escape
poverty and compete in academic areas with higher earning
potential such as math and engineering.
"At a time when folks across this country are
struggling to make ends meet, and many families are just
trying to get by on one paycheck after a job loss, it`s a
reminder that achieving equal pay for equal work isn`t just a
women`s issue," the president said yesterday in his weekly
radio and online address. "It`s a family issue."
Efforts are still continuing to address problems
highlighted by a commission led by former first lady Eleanor
Roosevelt almost 50 years ago that looked at the status of
women and the unfairness they face.
Obama noted that one of his first acts as president
was to sign a law allowing women who`ve been discriminated
against in their salaries to have their day in court. Obama
said he was disappointed when a bill to give women more power
to stop pay disparities, the Paycheck Fairness Act, was
blocked in the Senate.
"And that`s why I`m going to keep up the fight to pass
the reforms in that bill," he said.
Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking the measure
designed to reduce wage disparities between men and women. The
effort to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act fell just short of
the 60 votes needed to overcome Republican opposition.
Republicans and business groups said the bill would expose
employers to more litigation by removing limits on punitive
and compensatory damage awards.
The bill was one of the first measures passed by the
House last year after Obama was elected.
"Achieving equality and opportunity for women isn`t
just important to me as president," Obama said. "It`s
something I care about deeply as the father of two daughters
who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are
no limits to what they can achieve."