Obama backs women’s rights in speech to Muslim world

CAIRO - In a speech to the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims from Cairo Thursday, US President Barack Obama called on predominantly Muslim countries to support the education and employment of women.

“I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal,” Obama said. “But I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.”

“Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam,” the US president said. “The struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.”

“Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity - men and women - to reach their full potential,” Obama said.

“The United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.”


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