At a conference in South Africa, Barack Obama shared some public policy advice you’d never hear from the current president: elect more women.
In July, the 44th president gave a speech at a town hall meeting at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, where he shared his displeasure with the current state of men in politics.
“Empowering more women on the continent [is] going to lead to some better policies,” Barack Obama said Wednesday during a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, also noting that violence and bullying done primarily by men has been “getting on my nerves lately” pic.twitter.com/h78j3WZ7QN
— POLITICO (@politico) July 18, 2018
“Women in particular, by the way, I want you to get more involved,” Obama said, according to Time. “Men have been getting on my nerves lately.”
“Every day, I read the newspaper and just think like ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys?’ What’s wrong with us? We’re violent, we’re bullying. Just not handling our business. I think empowering more women on the continent, that right away, is going to lead to some better policies,” he said.
Obama should be happy that American women have received the message.
In this election cycle, more women are running for the highest elected offices than ever before.
At least 575 women have stated they are running for the House, the Senate or governor. Three-quarters of these candidates are Democrats.
The massive increase in female candidates is likely a result of the Trump presidency. Republicans have threatened to slash essential health benefits, defund Planned Parenthood, and undermine reproductive rights.
The Trump Administration has also hired fewer women than any president since Ronald Reagan.
“One of the only silver linings of the Trump presidency is that more and more women are feeling emboldened to raise their voices and fight for the issues that matter most to them, from sexual harassment in the workplace to paid leave,” New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told CNN.
“We saw that with the Women’s March, and we saw it again on Election Day last month, when women all over the country got off the sidelines, ran for office, and won,” the senator said.
Gillibrand has some advice for women who want to get involved, but aren’t interested in running for office.