Women Leaders Dream Big, Urge Transition Team to Bring Women and Women’s Issues to the Center of the New Administration

November 7, 2008 posted by Linda Basch A new administration, the cap to a long and exciting election campaign, and change is in the air. We have much hope, but we also have big issues to tackle.  The economic crisis brings particular urgency to the issues foremost on our minds.  At the Council, we've been talking about economic security, but now we need to talk about economic recovery  and the ways women are particularly affected.  Women are more likely to be in foreclosure and hold sub-prime mortgages (32% more likely than men despite better credit scores), more likely to be poor, to be earning minimum wage (68.4% nationally), and to lack adequate health insurance.  These challenges are not unique to women, they affect families, communities, and the entire nation. Going forward, how might life be different—more equitable, healthier, more secure—for women and girls in an Obama era?  We have lots of ideas. President-elect Obama is known as a convener.  Just as we at the Council attempt to draw on the strength and expertise of our network, it is our hope that our next President will draw on the best and brightest—and that he'll make women and their perspectives integral to his team.  We may not have a woman in the Oval Office, but we want to make sure that women's visions and perspectives are a central part of the new government. To that end, we've asked women leaders from a diversity of sectors for their big-sky thinking.  We started with leaders of women's organizations—those who have spent much of their lives working towards a  society that would be different, better, more fair.  What are their visions for an Obama Administration?  Who are their ideal Cabinet picks?  What new offices, government departments, or agencies would they like to see set up? What's been most missing in President-elect Obama's platform around women's issues, and what messages would they like to send the transition team to rectify these lapses going forward?  How do we move women and the issues women care about most from the margins to the center in this new administration? The next few posts offer responses.  We hope you'll share your visions too, and post links in the comments section, like these from Feministing  and RH Reality Check, to other sites where women are similarly voicing their hopes and dreams.   Our goal is to inform President-elect Obama and his transition team about what's on the minds of key leaders, who are women,  from education, business, the policy arena, and civil society as they roll up their sleeves to help shape the best agenda possible for the nation and our global partners


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