News / Africa

US First Ladies Promote Investment in Women in Tanzania

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, right, and former U.S. first lady Laura Bush laugh as they participate in the African First Ladies Summit: “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” hosted by the George W. Bush Institute, July 2, 2013, in Dar es Salaam,
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, right, and former U.S. first lady Laura Bush laugh as they participate in the African First Ladies Summit: “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” hosted by the George W. Bush Institute, July 2, 2013, in Dar es Salaam,
Gabe Joselow
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama joined forces with her predecessor Laura Bush at a summit Tuesday in Tanzania to promote investment in women.  The conversation soon turned to talk about the unique power and challenges that come with being the wife of the president.
 
The two leading women came together at the African First Ladies Summit to talk about initiatives to empower women, as part of a project run by Laura Bush, through the George W. Bush Institute, established by her husband after he left office.
 
In her opening address in Dar es Salaam Tuesday, Bush said promoting the roles of women helps countries to become more prosperous and stable.
 
“We’re highlighting support for women at this summit because at all levels and in all parts of society, women play a critical role,” Laura Bush said.
 
The first ladies of Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania were in attendance at the meeting which is looking at ways to empower women economically and socially by providing better access to health, education and financial services.
 
In a moderated conversation, Obama said she knows first-hand the power of education.
 
“I was a girl who grew up on the south side of Chicago. My parents didn’t have much money, but they invested in my education," Michelle Obama explained. "And they invested in my education as equally as they did my brother, there was no different bar. And as a result of that training and preparation I have had opportunities, and I am sitting here right now as the first lady of the United States of America because of education.”
 
As the two leading ladies dwelled on the opportunities that come with the position, they also noted they face the same challenges as other women in the United States.
 
Bush said too often the press just wants to focus on how a first lady looks, sending the wrong message to the nation’s youth.
 
“And that’s a problem everywhere in the United States for girls as well. The way you look. Girls worry about all sorts of problems that they should not have to worry about. They should be worried about what they’re doing and how they’re being educated instead of whether they look pretty or they look sexy," Bush noted.
 
Of course, as the wives of presidents, Obama said they also know that even those men, as powerful as they may be, are only human.
 
“I love my husband, but sometimes when he has like five things to do at one time, it’s funny to watch it, ‘You don’t know where your jacket is right now, can’t find that shoe, Mr. President,” she joked.
 
Dar es Salaam has become an unlikely meeting spot for the two first families of the United States, who operate on different sides of the political spectrum.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (R) attend a memorial for the victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (R) attend a memorial for the victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (R) attend a memorial for the victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (R) attend a memorial for the victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.
President Barack Obama and  George W. Bush also joined together Tuesday morning for a memorial ceremony at the site of the former U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, bombed in a terrorist attack in 1998.
 
The country of Tanzania is the last official stop on Obama’s three-nation tour of Africa.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: PCD from: IL, US
July 02, 2013 10:13 AM
How can Michelle pooh-pooh the press for concentrating on how she looks when it always appears to be one of her own top priorities. If she wants girls to stop concentrating on looking "pretty", she should start by presenting herself as a more modest, professional women.

In Response

by: Catherine from: Memphis
July 02, 2013 11:41 AM
It was Laura bush that made the comment not Michelle Obama


by: Ophelia from: United States
July 02, 2013 9:43 AM
Promote and establish free energy. There is a lithium battery that could run an electric car for 27 years on 1 battery. We could have clean Tesla energy, cold fusion energy, enabling the entire world to have heat, AC, clean water, electricity. Imagine how good life would be if you didn't have to pay for fuel, gas, electricity, water. You wouldn't havet to work so hard, there would be more inventions, healthier food, water, air. Imagine how clean our earth would be, no fracking, drilling, polluting the oceans, the air. HUMAN NEED, NOT CORPORATE GREED.


by: John from: America
July 02, 2013 9:31 AM
I think it was a nice gesture....I hope Africa progresses as a Continent....it is important for Humanity....since, it is the cradle for us all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid