Affordable child care, paid maternity and sick leave, equal pay for women, and women’s health care — these are all long-standing issues with one thing in common. They affect women, and more importantly, they were all focal points in President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Here are four ways women's lives may be affected, as detailed in the 2015 State of the Union:
1) Child Care
With the majority of American couples working long hours at a low wage, Obama put special emphasis on the issue of child care, favoring low-income and middle-class American families who work and can’t afford child care.
“It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”
Obama stated he wants to make child care more affordable and available, allowing low-income and middle-class families to have “a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.”
But will it work?
Obama based his ideas on data from World War II, when men would go to war and the women were encouraged to work in the factories to support the war effort, making the need for childcare more pertinent then ever.
The federal government gave grants to families and supported day cares nationwide for those able to prove they were supporting the war effort. This allowed mothers to work and support their husbands overseas, while aiding the economy.
Now, Obama sees a similar issue.
Women work to support their families and the economy, but can’t make ends meet or afford day care, an expenditure costing $11,666 a year, on a national average.
It is hard to say whether or not the plan will actually succeed or take place before the end of Obama’s final two years in office, due to the fact that he did not outline a direct budget proposal to support the plan.
2) Paid Maternity/ Sick Leave
While many jobs offer maternity leave, many don’t.