After their milestone trip to Cuba, the First Family continued on to Argentina, where First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage. Obama, who has championed the importance of girls’ education through her “Let Girls Learn” initiative, touched on her own experiences with sexism in the inspiring speech.
“By the time I started school, I began encountering people outside of my home who had less faith in my ability to reach my goals,” she says around the nine-minute mark. “Teachers who didn’t think that I was smart enough, and would call on the boys instead of the girls, even though the girls had better grades.”
She continued to speak about how the messages she received from the outside world so conflicted with her own hopes and dreams. “As I got older, I found that men would whistle at me as I walked down the street, as if my body were their property, as if I were an object to be commented on instead of a full human being with thoughts and feelings of my own,” she said.
Obama told the crowd that she eventually learned to trust her own voice over others', and encouraged the crowd to the do the same.
“I’m standing here today because I want the same thing for all of you, and that’s why no matter what challenges or obstacles you might face, I want to urge you to get the education you need to make your voice heard in the world,” she says around minute 13.
Listen to the full speech above to be inspired by the First Lady’s powerful message on female empowerment.