President Obama Talks Malia's Graduation and Being a Feminist at the White House Women's Summit
"I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like," President Obama announced Tuesday at the very first United State of Women Summit. He addressed about 5,000 attendees—including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi—at the White House–hosted event that was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
In a speech about the progress of American women, the president addressed his administration's work over the past eight years in bringing about more advanced family leave policies and increased access to health care for women like birth control, which is covered under the Affordable Care Act.
Yet the commander-in-chief, who has only seven months left in office, was also quick to note that there's a lot of work left to be done and he's not ready to be a lame-duck president just yet.
"Our country isn't just about the Benjamins—it's about the Tubmans, too," POTUS said, referring to Harriet Tubman's future replacement of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, and spoke about future advances in equal pay, paid maternity and paternity leave, and changing a culture that perpetuates gender inequality.
The proud dad also took a moment to reflect on two very strong young women in his life: his daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 15.
"Some of you may know that on Friday my older daughter Malia graduated from high school. I sat in the back and wore dark glasses, and only cried once," he joked before adding, "but I was thinking about how she is graduating at this extraordinary time for women in America."
President Obama reflected on the promise of the younger generation, saying, "[Sasha and Malia] think it's weird we haven't already had a woman president. They expect the world to catch up to them. And I have no doubt that we will."