— Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
2015, Address to the People of India (January 2015)
Context: Our nations are strongest when we uphold the equality of all our people -- and that includes our women. Now, you may have noticed, I’m married to a very strong and talented woman. Michelle is not afraid to speak her mind, or tell me when I’m wrong -- which happens frequently. And we have two beautiful daughters, so I’m surrounded by smart, strong women. And in raising our girls, we’ve tried to instill in them basic values -- a sense of compassion for others, and respect for themselves, and the confidence that they can go as far as their imaginations and abilities will carry them. [... ] We know from experience that nations are more successful when their women are successful. When girls go to school -- this is one of the most direct measures of whether a nation is going to develop effectively is how it treats its women. When a girl goes to school, it doesn’t just open up her young mind, it benefits all of us -- because maybe someday she’ll start her own business, or invent a new technology, or cure a disease. And when women are able to work, families are healthier, and communities are wealthier, and entire countries are more prosperous. And when young women are educated, then their children are going to be well educated and have more opportunity. So if nations really want to succeed in today’s global economy, they can’t simply ignore the talents of half their people. And as husbands and fathers and brothers, we have to step up -- because every girl’s life matters. Every daughter deserves the same chance as our sons. Every woman should be able to go about her day -- to walk the streets or ride the bus -- and be safe, and be treated with respect and dignity. She deserves that.