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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid