The Daily Grind Video

President Obama‘s announcement to impose broader sanctions on Russia wasn’t the only bold statement he made on Thursday.

At an event at Orlando’s Valencia College, the President called for legislation requiring equal pay for women, even adding that Congress would get to that goal if it had more women.

“Women with college degrees may earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career than a man at the same educational level, and that’s wrong.” Obama said. “This isn’t 1958 — it’s 2014.”

He continued, “A woman deserves work place policies that protect her right to have a baby without losing her job. It’s pretty clear that, you know, if men were having babies, we’d have different policies.”

The event was the first in a series of regional forums planned in the lead-up to a Working Families Summit he’s hosting in Washington on June 23. Others, which will be headlined by various administration officials, were being planned for Denver on April 11, Chicago on April 28, San Francisco on May 5, and for Boston and New York, dates to be announced.

White House aides say turning out female voters, particularly single women, will be a key to Democratic performance in November, so Obama is putting extra emphasis on financial challenges facing that demographic, including equal pay.

“I’ve got a personal stake in seeing women get ahead,” Obama said from a Valencia College stage filled with 25 women of diverse ages and ethnicities. “First of all, women make up 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law, and I always count my mother-in-law.”

He also noted he was raised by a single mother, with the support of a grandmother who he said hit a “glass ceiling” at the bank where she trained men to become her boss.