Former President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama are visiting Southeast Asia and the former president said at a speech in Singapore on Monday that women should be in charge across the globe.
According to the BBC, Obama said, “I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything ... living standards and outcomes,”
While women “aren’t perfect,” Obama added, they are “indisputably” better than men.
Asked to address his own mindset about reentering politics, Obama replied, per the BBC, that leaders ― often men ― needed to know when it’s time to step aside. The job of a nation’s leader is not for life and isn’t intended to enhance one’s personal power, he said. “If you look at the world and look at the problems, its usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” he said.
Obama also discussed problem solving in his White House, joking about the chain of command when people under him couldn’t offer solutions, “We had the expression ― and I believe you would have an equivalent here ― that poop does not roll downhill in the White House, it rolls uphill ... to me. It landed up on my desk. ... Clean it up!”
The former president had been invited to speak at a Singapore charity gala on December 14th that was to help raise funds for four Singapore charities that support education and training for marginalized women and children from disadvantaged families.
Event organizer Novena Global Lifecare had a goal to raise $5 million SGD at the inaugural Education Benefit Gala with the funds being used for empowerment and equal opportunities through education.
Nelson Loh, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of the Dorr Group and Novena Global Lifecare said, “There are 617 million children and adolescents who are not proficient in either reading or mathematics, according to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. In Singapore, education is compulsory before children turn 15, and our literacy rate is 97%; still, let’s not rest on our laurels as there is a minority who are marginalized and fall out of the system for various reasons.”