On Monday, the White House announced it would host an upcoming summit called the United State Of Women. The purpose of the June 14 summit will be to discuss ways to empower women economically and socially.
"We are the United State of Women," first lady Michelle Obama said in an introductory video. "And we stand stronger when we stand together."
Many famous and accomplished women joined the first lady in the video, including Oprah, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Tina Fey, Jessica Williams, Aidy Bryant and Laverne Cox.
There are many important issues to be discussed at next week's historical summit. Here are seven that stand out to us in particular:
1. Equal pay for equal work.
The 21 percent pay gap is unacceptable. Enough said.
2. More female bosses.
Improving equality in the workplace must include job advancement for women. Less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies boast a female CEO, so it's time for more female executive leadership in business.
3. Full reproductive rights.
The fact that in 2016 women in the U.S. still lack easy access to abortion clinics and to birth control pills proves that we have a long way to go.
4. Paid maternity leave.
There is only one industrialized nation in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave — the United States. Working moms deserve full paid maternity leave. Paternity leave wouldn't be unwelcome, either.
5. More women in the STEM fields.
The vast majority of science, technology, engineering and mathematics job still belong to men. It is important that more women enter these fields and receive the best STEM education.
6. Ending sexual assault and violence.
Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in America. The U.S. must empower survivors to come forward, which includes improving our criminal justice system.
7. Exporting gender equality around the world.
Women in other countries are still lacking some basic rights. For example, women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from driving. By working with institutions around the world to further promote gender equality, activists can help to spread the love and make an impact.