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Girls & Women

Obama Says 'Empowering More Women' Will Help Mend Government Policies


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Women working in government have an opportunity to represent their communities and their diverse needs. Gender equality is one of the UN’s Global Goals, and protecting women from job discrimination is essential to the continued efforts to empower girls and women everywhere. You can join us by taking action for gender equality here.

Former US President Barack Obama believes that increased numbers of female leadership will improve and enhance future government policy, reports Time.

In a speech at a town hall meeting with young African leaders at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, Obama said that the solution to current issues in what he called “strongman politics.”

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"Women in particular, by the way, I want you to get more involved," Obama said at the meeting. “Every day I read the newspaper and just think, like, ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys? What’s wrong with us?’ We’re violent, we’re bullying. Just not handling our business. I think empowering more women on the continent, that … is going to lead to some better policies.”

It was the second major speech in two days from Obama on tour in South Africa. The 44th president is using the trip to promote his foundation's mission "to inspire and empower people to change their world," reported CNN.

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American women appear to agree with the sentiments. More than 575 women so far this year declared their intention to run for the House, the Senate, or for a gubernatorial position, reported Politico.

The high numbers of involvement have inspired some to nickname 2018 the "year of the woman," as reported earlier by CNN.

Initiatives such as those led by New York’s junior Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand encouraging more women to run in elections have certainly stimulated potential candidates. But if a bid for office isn’t a natural choice, there are other alternatives for women to get involved in effecting change.

“Find a candidate who shares your values, who is going to fight for the things you would fight for,” implored Gillibrand in a video first posted to Twitter in 2017 and shared again with her followers last month. ”Find somebody who has the same vision, same drive, and help them, because I promise you she’s gonna need your help.”