Senate Republicans in April rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have held employees responsible for wage discrimination against women and would have required the U.S. Department of Labor to collect wage data from supervisors. Nationwide, women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man in 2012, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Shortly after he took office in 2009, Obama first demonstrated his desire to uphold gender equality when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which provides women basic protections against pay discrimination. His administration has continued to ensure that federal agencies recognize the needs of women and girls when implementing programs and policies. The president also reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act and established a White House task force to protect students from sexual assault.