President Barack Obama, leading in the polls among women voters, said on Friday he wants to help working women fight discrimination and juggle the demands of motherhood but stopped short of making promises on gender equality if he wins re-election.
At a White House event on women and the economy, Obama noted “there has been a lot of talk about women and women’s issues lately,” a nod to the emergence of contraceptive rights, working women and all-male establishments as heated issues in his race for re-election in November.
A USA Today/Gallup poll released this week showed Obama with a strong edge over Republican Mitt Romney, his most likely rival for the White House, among women voters in electoral battleground states including New York, Ohio and Virginia.
Obama won 56 percent of women’s votes in 2008, giving him the edge he needed to win the election over Republican contender John McCain.
His fellow Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a “war on women,” with proposed cuts to healthcare and the birth control group Planned Parenthood. The White House, meanwhile, has sought to cement Obama’s support for women with moves such as a policy requiring employers to give women free birth control.