Obama: Female oppression crippling parts of Africa

2014-07-29 15:29
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - President Barack Obama spoke out on Monday against gender oppression in Africa that he said is "crippling" parts of the continent, urging young leaders there to empower women and eliminate traditions like female genital mutilation and violence against women.

Obama held up an inaugural class of young African fellows who are getting six weeks of leadership training in the United States as inspiring examples of what the continent can achieve. He drew cheers as he announced their program is being expanded and renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Obama said the world's security and prosperity depends on "a strong, prosperous and self-reliant Africa" and he repeatedly spoke out on the important role that women must play in Africa's future. "One of the things we've got to teach Africa is how strong the women are and to empower women," Obama said.

Obama said female empowerment will be a topic of discussion at the inaugural US-Africa Leaders Summit, being held in August in Washington. About 50 African leaders are expected to attend what the White House says will be the largest gathering any US president has held with African heads of state and government.

"The most successful countries are the ones who treat their women well," Obama said. "If you are not empowering your women you are crippling your country."

'Barbaric' tradition

Obama told the young Africans participating in the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, now the Mandela Washington Fellowship, that they shouldn't hold on to old traditions like removing some or all of a girl's genitals, which practitioners often link to Islamic requirements.

The World Health Organization says more than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 29 African and Middle Eastern countries, with complications including cysts, infection and infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

"I'm sorry, I don't consider that a tradition worth hanging on to," Obama said. "I think that's a tradition that's barbaric and should be eliminated."

Obama announced the fellowship during a stop in South Africa last summer to connect young African leaders to leadership training opportunities at top US universities.

Reflection of Mandela

He said four regional leadership centres will be created in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa for more training programs on the continent.

He also said the program will include more online tools like mentoring and courses and more public-private partnerships to support young entrepreneurs that want to start businesses or non-profits. He also said a Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held in Morocco this year, will be held in sub-Saharan Africa next year.

Fellows Obama singled out in his comments included a Nigerian woman who distributes sterile kits for delivering babies after a friend died in childbirth, and a woman from Senegal who started an academy to fight trafficking of young girls

Obama said the spirit of the group reflects the optimism and idealism of Mandela, who died last December at age 95.

- AP
Read more on:    who  |  barack obama  |  senegal  |  us  |  kenya  |  south africa  |  ghana
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be self sufficient, right and in control today. There is a tendency to hold on too tightly to your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.