WOMEN
01/21/2015 01:08 pm ET Updated Jan 21, 2015

Maternity Leave, Equal Pay And Affordable Childcare Spotlighted In President Obama's State Of The Union Speech

President Obama's State of the Union address last night seemed to promise a renewed commitment to issues related to women and gender equality, specifically policies regarding maternity leave, equal pay and affordable childcare.

According to blogger Anushay Hussain, of Anushay'sPoint.com, feminists had high hopes for the president's speech, which Hussain feels were largely met.

"Leading up to it, so many feminist writers were talking about what our kind of wish list was that he would bring up, so it was amazing to finally hear him make a point about the fact that the U.S. is one of the few industrialized countries in the world that doesn't have mandated paid maternity leave, so I just thought it was amazing," she told HuffPost Live in a conversation on Wednesday.

Obama also addressed reproductive rights and increased access to contraception. But making a public declaration to prioritize maternity leave, Hussain says, was especially exciting.

"[For] The State of the Union to discuss paid maternity leave, equal pay, affordable high quality childcare, I mean, these are so important and I can't believe he mentioned them in the State of the Union!" she said. "At one point I was like, am I dreaming? This is every feminists' dream!"

Still, the blogger notes that public discussion of the issues is one thing, while taking action is quite another.

"Obviously following up with action is a whole different ballgame," she said, "but I thought it was great to hear him give such emphasis on these issues when the whole nation is listening to him."

Watch more from HuffPost Live's State of the Union debriefing here.

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