In the 2014 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama spoke about women’s rights, calling the fact that a woman makes 77 cents to every dollar a man makes “wrong and, in 2014, an embarrassment”. He has pushed for equal pay ever since his first State of the Union Address on January 7, 2010, when he said “We’re going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws so that women get equal pay for an equal day’s work.” and even earlier in his presidency he showed his commitment to this cause when he signed his first bill into law, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009. He said of this act, “…we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.” and also said he signed it in honor of Ms. Ledbetter, but also for his daughters, saying, “I want them to grow up in a nation that values their contributions, where there are no limits to their dreams”.
His State of the Union Address in 2010 was the first time in 10 years that equal pay had even been mentioned in a State of the Union Address, when Clinton demanded equal pay in his last State of the Union in 2000. Never during the Bush administration did we see mention of equal pay in his SOTUs., or any mention of women’s rights. Hopefully we will continue to see support of women’s rights, even more than just equal pay, in the next two years, as well as in the future administrations.