While major officials are being accused of sexual misconduct, former President Obama has called for a major goverment shakeup.
The issue of gender equality continues to grow in prominence in contemporary politics. Such issues include economic equality and social rights, particularly protections against sexual harassment.
For decades there has been economic inequality between classes. Most notably, there has been a consistent wage gap between men and women and a culture that promotes that wage gap.
Also, this year, we have seen a disturbing uptick in sexual harassment allegations. These allegations began with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in October. Since then, many powerful men in politics, entertainment, and business have been accused of sexual misconduct as a part of the ‘Me Too’ movement.
During his time as president, Barack Obama had made efforts to combat issues that directly harm women. Obama had been a strong proponent of gender equality and was an advocate for women, driving the conversation about treating women fairly in America.
During his presidency, he moved major legislation forward, such as the Affordable Care Act, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was the first piece of legislation that Obama signed into law, worked to instill protections for women in the workplace and promote fair pay. This was done as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which allowed unfair pay complaints to be filed within 180 days of a discriminatory paycheck. This amendment helps to close the wage gap between men and women.
The Obama administration also created the White House Council on Women and Girls. This council had the purpose of ensuring that all federal agencies “take into account the needs of women and girls into the policies they draft, programs they create, and legislation they support.”
Former President Obama’s legacy in protecting women is extensive. He had even created the position of ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues and hired more women into positions of power.
What’s Happening Now:
Former President Obama continues to support women’s rights. On Saturday, he made a comment that called for more women to be elected to public office due to men seeming to have “some problems these days,” as the French news agency AFP has reported.
Obama, who had made this comment at an invitation-only event in Paris, was clearly referring to the current issue of sexual misconduct by men in positions of power, which has included several major politicians and celebrities.
Furthermore, Obama stated, “not to generalize, but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialization.”
Obama’s remarks solidify his commitment to women’s rights. They come at a time when reform is crucial to prevent a system of continued harassment.
Developments from the sexual allegations include GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore dropping out of the race of allegations of sexual misconduct and female lawmakers calling for Congress to increase measures that combat sexual harassment.
Last month, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had declared that the House will be adding anti-sexual harassment training in the future.
H/T: The Hill