The Pride of a Young Woman at President Obama’s First Bill Signing

January 30, 2009

Crowding around a small TV in an office in the Public Policy and Government Relations Department of AAUW to watch as President Obama signed his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, into law was honestly one of the most encouraging, fulfilling, and joyous experiences I have ever had. As a fellow in the Public Policy and Government Relations Department, I was privileged to be able to share this momentous day with the AAUW staff that has been working diligently to ensure the passage of this bill.

AAUW staff celebrate the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by President Barabck Obama

AAUW staff celebrate the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by President Barack Obama

Moreover, today I gained an even greater appreciation of those who have gone before me, paving the way for a more equal economic and social environment for women. As I prepare to enter the workforce in just one short year, my thanks and full respect are given to those like Lilly Ledbetter and the AAUW team members who work to bring pay equity to the full attention of lawmakers, as well as to the lawmakers such as Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) who have championed equal pay as a basic right and fought to ensure that legislative actions are taken to guarantee this right for future generations of working women. Because women have suffered discrimination in the past and continually fought for equity, they have cracked open the doors of opportunity to a new generation of young ambitious women like me, and for that I am truly and wholeheartedly grateful.

Although much has been accomplished, there is still a long way to go! As women, we continue to make 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns, and women of color earn even less. In the classroom, we are underestimated and face challenges that would discourage us from striving toward our dream. And in society at large, we still do not enjoy true equality as ideas of “tradition” or backward moral convictions skew the perception of a “woman’s place in society” and undermine our potential. However, today, witnessing the change that was effected by the voices of women across the nation, I am inspired to continue fighting for our equality in the workplace, in the world of academia, and in society as a whole. I hope with all that is my strength, that we will overcome, rejecting ideals and precedents of discrimination that have been our past so that we can strive toward a better future, defined by equality, opportunity, and change.

This post was written by Crystal Cazier, AAUW Public Policy Fellow

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AAUWguest By:   |   January 30, 2009


  1. Avatar bikerbernie says:

    Oops, the link did not go through right.



  2. Avatar bikerbernie says:

    First there already is legislation that makes unequal pay illegal so this I am sad to say to you women this is just blowing smoke and I resent that this time and money was spent on this redundancy.

    Besides that if you think that women get paid $0.75 on a dollar you are mistaken and just parroting tired, boring rhetoric. You cannot take the end of the year W2’s and make this claim because there are factors that can justify the pay disparity.


    Besides affirmative action, the selective service, collage incentive to admit women, easier civil service test for women, and a myriad of other legally discriminatory practices against men. At least women have had the legal recourse to peruse if any disparity, men do not.


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