The Women's Leadership Forum National Issues Conference kicked off this morning with several outstanding speakers who came together in Washington to discuss women's issues, their support for Democrats, and work they're doing to make sure President Obama is re-elected.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz opened the conference, telling the women (and several men, too) in the audience who had gathered from around the country:
This day is all about women—how far we've come, how far we still have to go, and how we can help President Obama continue to move America in the right direction.
Valerie Jarrett spoke about the White House Council on Women and Girls, created by President Obama to make sure every agency in the federal government is recognizing and working toward meeting the unique needs of American women and girls:
The President said when he created the council, every part of the federal government touches the lives of women and girls, and so each part must take into account the needs of women and girls in all of their programs and policies.
President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards and president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan participated in a panel discussion about the work we must do to fight back against the GOP's war on women's health.
We are seeing under the Republican-led Congress, state legislatures, and governors the most full-on assault on women and women's health in my lifetime. It's not just about choice. It's about whether women are able to get birth control and cancer screenings in the United States of America.
This is a time to defend the health care plan, reproductive choice, and women's health. We have got to speak up—because your health care is private, but your opinion on health care is not. … It's time for us to go the extra mile for President Barack Obama and the other pro-choice candidates in this country.
And former Secretary of State Madeline Albright spoke about fighting for women's rights around the globe:
Women's empowerment is gaining ground, because so many brave women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have been unwilling to accept anything less. … Our goal is to give every girl and every woman the confidence that her life will be valued.
To get the latest updates from the conference, don't forget to follow @TheDemocrats on Twitter or check out the #WLF11 Twitter hashtag.