Here is President Barack Obama’s weekly address video and transcript from Saturday, March 12, 2011, on YouTube and radio. In his remarks, the President discussed Women’s History Month and noted the achievements of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as well as the need to continue to strive for full equality for women with such measures as the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act.
Article continues below.
Replay video is above. The complete transcript text is below, followed by the Republican response video.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, March 12, 2011
March is Women’s History Month, a time not only to celebrate the progress that women have made, but also the women throughout our history who have made that progress possible.
One inspiring American who comes to mind is Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1961, the former First Lady was unhappy about the lack of women in government, so she marched up to President Kennedy and handed him a three-page list of women who were qualified for top posts in his administration. This led the President to select Mrs. Roosevelt as the head of a new commission to look at the status of women in America, and the unfairness they routinely faced in their lives.
Though she passed away before the commission could finish its work, the report they released spurred action across the country. It helped galvanize a movement led by women that would help make our society a more equal place.
It’s been almost fifty years since the Roosevelt commission published its findings – and there have been few similar efforts by the government in the decades that followed. That’s why, last week, here at the White House, we released a new comprehensive report on the status of women in the spirit on the one that was released half a century ago.
There was a lot of positive news about the strides we’ve made, even in recent years. For example, women have caught up with men in seeking higher education. In fact, women today are more likely than men to attend and graduate from college.
Yet, there are also reminders of how much work remains to be done. Women are still more likely to live in poverty in this country. In education, there are areas like math and engineering where women are vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts. This is especially troubling, for we know that to compete with nations around the world, these are the fields in which we need to harness the talents of all our people. That’s how we’ll win the future.
And, today, women still earn on average only about 75 cents for every dollar a man earns. That’s a huge discrepancy. And at a time when folks across this country are struggling to make ends meet – and many families are just trying to get by on one paycheck after a job loss – it’s a reminder that achieving equal pay for equal work isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s a family issue.
In one of my first acts as President, I signed a law so that women who’ve been discriminated against in their salaries could have their day in court to make it right. But there are steps we should take to prevent that from happening in the first place. That’s why I was so disappointed when an important bill to give women more power to stop pay disparities – the Paycheck Fairness Act – was blocked by just two votes in the Senate. And that’s why I’m going to keep up the fight to pass the reforms in that bill.
Achieving equality and opportunity for women isn’t just important to me as President. It’s something I care about deeply as the father of two daughters who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.
As I’ve traveled across the country, visiting schools and meeting young people, I’ve seen so many girls passionate about science and other subjects that were traditionally not as open to them. We even held a science fair at the White House, where I met a young woman named Amy Chyao. She was only 16 years old, but she was actually working on a treatment for cancer. She never thought, “Science isn’t for me.” She never thought, “Girls can’t do that.” She was just interested in solving a problem. And because someone was interested in giving her a chance, she has the potential to improve lives.
That tells me how far we’ve come. But it also tells me we have to work even harder to close the gaps that still exist, and to uphold that simple American ideal: we are all equal and deserving of the chance to pursue our own version of happiness. That’s what Eleanor Roosevelt was striving toward half a century ago. That’s why this report matters today. And that’s why, on behalf of all our daughters and our sons, we’ve got to keep making progress in the years ahead.
Thanks for listening.
Click here to watch the March 12, 2011 Weekly Republican address delivered by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska via GOP.gov saying, in part, “The worst part of this emerging [energy] crisis is that our own government deserves much of the blame. International events have pushed prices higher, but our own short-sightedness and restrictions have also played a critical role. Some in Washington believe higher oil and gas prices, driven even higher by proposed new taxes, are needed to make Americans behave the way they think they should. Higher energy prices are their explicit goal. They don’t realize or don’t care about the damage to the economy, the pain to a mom as she fills her minivan, or a farmer as he tries to bring in a harvest.”
Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
- Obama Press Conference Video: March 11, 2011 Presidential News Conference
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript March 5, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- Obama Miami, Florida Speech Video March 4, 2011: Address at Miami Central Senior High School
- Obama, Calderon Press Conference Video: U.S. President, Mexican President Hold Joint News Conference March 3, 2011
- President Obama Speech Video Feb. 28, 2011 Address at National Governors Association Meeting
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Feb. 26, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- President Obama Libya Speech Video Feb. 23, 2011 Statement on Protests in Libya
- Obama Cleveland Speech Video: Feb. 22, 2011 Winning the Future Forum on Small Business at Cleveland State Univ.
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Feb. 19, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- Obama Hillsboro, Oregon Speech Video: Feb. 18, 2011 Address at Intel Corporation
- President Obama America’s Great Outdoors Initiative Speech Video Feb. 16, 2011
- Obama Press Conference Video: Feb. 15, 2011 Presidential News Conference, 2012 Budget Speech
- President Obama Budget 2012 Speech Video Feb. 14, 2011 Address in Baltimore at Parkville Middle School
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Feb. 12, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- President Obama Egypt Speech Video Feb. 11, 2011 Statement on Mubarak Stepping Down
- Obama Marquette, Michigan Speech Video Feb. 10, 2011 Address at Univ. of Northern Michigan
- President Obama Chamber of Commerce Speech Video Feb. 7, 2011
- President Obama Super bowl 2011 Video: Interview with Bill O’Reilly
- President Obama National Prayer Breakfast 2011 Speech Video Feb. 3, 2011
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Feb. 5, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- President Obama Penn State University Speech Video Feb. 3, 2011
- President Obama Egypt Speech Video Feb. 1, 2011: Statement on Protests in Egypt
- Obama, Harper Press Conference Video: U.S. President, Canadian Prime Minister Hold Joint News Conference Feb. 4, 2011
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 29, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- Obama Manitowoc, Wisconsin Speech Video: Jan. 26, 2011 Address at Orion Energy Systems
- Obama Speech Video: Jan. 28, 2011 Address at Families USA 16th Annual Health Action Conference
- President Obama State of the Union Address 2011 Video: Jan. 25 Speech to Joint Session of Congress
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 22, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
Obama Schenectady, New York Speech Video: Jan. 21, 2011 Address at General Electric Turbine Plant
Obama, Hu Press Conference Video: U.S. President, Chinese President Hold Joint News Conference Jan. 19, 2011
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 15, 2011 (Radio, YouTube)
- President Obama Speech Video: Tucson, Arizona Memorial Service Jan. 12, 2011
- President Obama Moment of Silence Honoring Tucson, Arizona Shooting Victims (Video) Jan. 10, 2011
- President Obama Speech on Shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Video Jan. 8, 2011
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 8 , 2011 (YouTube, Radio)
- Obama December Jobs Report Speech Video: Jan. 7, 2011 Statement on Unemployment and Economic Appointments
- Obama Speech Video: Jan. 6. 2011 William Daley Appointed White House Chief of Staff Announcement
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 1, 2011
- Obama Press Conference Video, Transcript: Dec. 22, 2010 Presidential News Conference, End of Year Speech
President Obama Signs Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act into Law: Dec. 22, 2010 Speech, Video
- President Obama Signs Tax Cut Bill into Law: Dec. 17, 2010 Speech, Video
- Obama Press Conference Video: Dec. 7, 2010 Presidential News Conference, Speech on Tax Cuts Deal