Barack Obama: Nine of former US president’s best feminist quotes

'We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive'

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 04 August 2020 12:00
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In August 2016, former US president Barack Obama penned an essay in Glamour magazine about the meaning of feminism and the responsibility society has to ensure that women are granted equal opportunities to men.

Obama has publicly expressed his pride in being a feminist on several occasions, stating in his 2011 Presidential Proclamation for Women's History Month that the commitment of the "trailblazers of the past" to achieve gender equality must continue so that girls and women have "no remaining ceilings to shatter" in future.

In 2016, the attorney made an appearance at the United States of Women Summit to deliver a straightforward message: "I may be a little greyer than I was eight years ago – but this is what a feminist looks like."

As the 44th president of the United States celebrates his 59th birthday on Tuesday 4 August, we have created a collection of several of his most impactful feminist moments.

From breaking down gender stereotypes to chastising gender pay inequality, click through the gallery above to read nine of Obama's best feminist quotes.

In 2014, Obama gave a poignant statement about the way in which women are treated in the workplace during his State of the Union Address.

"Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment," he said.

"A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too."

Obama shares his birthday with the Duchess of Sussex, who turns 39 on Tuesday 4 August.

The duchess has also spoken publicly about women's issues on several occasions, discussing topics including the stigma which continues to surround menstruation and the significance of women's suffrage.

To read 11 of Meghan's best feminist quotes, click here.

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