There are many things to admire about Obama's speech in Cairo today. The man managed to tackle every issue plaguing our relations with the Middle East in a respectful manner, after all. But what we find most impressive here at BUST is Obama's inclusion of the importance of women's rights as one of the seven major sources of tension between the U.S and the Muslim world. (This is particularly exciting in comparison to The Administration Who Must Not Be Named.)
Here is the excerpt from his speech addressing this issue, taken from DemConWatch :
The sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.
I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, 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. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, 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. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why 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.
Photo courtesy of New York Times
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