Michelle Obama: Men Are ‘Useful’

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is greeted by pupils as she arrives at Mulberry School for Girls in east London, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Michelle Obama is due to meet with female students in London on Tuesday to encourage them to pursue top educational goals.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

During a conversation with students in the United Kingdom, First Lady Michelle Obama told them that men were “useful” for promoting the idea of more education for girls.

“We’ve got to change cultural norms too, that’s why work on the ground is so important” she explained. “We’ve got to send different messages about the importance of educating our girls.”

She suggested that while boys and men were important, it was crucial for them to talk about the lack of education for girls around the world.

“You know our sons are important, we love men, we all do, they’re good, they’re useful,” she said.

“I have one in my life,” she added, referring to President Obama. “I like him but you know we have to change the definition of what it means to invest in our young girls.”

Young men, she explained were important to supporting the idea of education for girls, revealing that Prince Harry endorsed the idea of having male voices in the conversation.

The First Lady added that it was essential for women to be involved on the ground with people and keep informed about the issues of the day.

“Don’t just be book smart, be smart about the world, know your community, understand your politics, read your papers, know what’s happening in the world,” she said. “You have to know how your government works, and you have to vote and be actively engaged at all times, that’s part of an education.”


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