Q: Given the exaggerated focus on the presidency this time of year, what is an example of another way to affect positive change?
A: Most problems are outside the president's control
Despite charismatic speeches promising change for our country, neither President Obama nor Governor Romney can single-handedly fix America’s problems. Every President faces forces beyond their control.
During the recent debate, a question was asked about gas prices. The price you face at the pump is influenced by multiple factors beyond the president’s control. Even with the help of Congress, our “pain at the pump” will not be alleviated by Obama or Romney.
In the same debate the candidates were asked about what they would do to enforce pay equity. While policies are in place to insure women receive equal pay for equal work, the issue needs to be taken beyond the scope of politics—the “magic powers” some wish to place on the Office of the President are not the answer.
A shift in attitude, roles, and responsibility are required to eliminate the problem of gender inequality, and specifically pay inequality.
A certain presidential candidate’s answer to the pay equity question was to allow women to leave work in enough time to cook dinner for their families. That is the exact wrong answer.
The most important thing we can do to fix gender inequality and insure pay equity is to recognize the important contributions women make to our society on a daily basis. Sharing responsibility and decision making in every arena of life, and putting women in roles that challenge tradition will put an end to the outdated idea that women should only deal with matters of children and the home.
That means pushing young women to choose careers that are outside the traditional, especially into careers with higher salaries. That also means electing women at all levels, and electing men who recognize that women must be part of our leadership, not as tokens, but as equals.
This is a response to a question about whether there is a moral obligation to vote, asked by Everything Questioned. Check back Friday to see who wrote this response, find more views at EQ's homepage, and share your thoughts through comments or by submitting a 300-word response to Austin Baird.