Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

President Obama did not defend polygamy as Rush Limbaugh contends

President Obama told a crowd of 500 young Africans Monday that Africa needs to abandon some of its past to create a future more accessible to women. While Rush Limbaugh attacks the President and posts the headline “Barry defends his Daddy’s polygamy,” the President spoke out against the behavior as well as female genital mutilation and violence towards women.

President Obama spoke about issues in Africa, calling for change photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey@wordpress.com

President Obama spoke about issues in Africa, calling for change photo donkeyhotey [email protected]

“If you try to duplicate traditions, that were based on entirely different economy and an entirely different society, an entirely different expectation, well, that’s going to break down. It’s not going to work.” Obama said at a town hall meeting hosted in Washington as part of his administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative. “So as a continent, you have to update and create new traditions.”

Obama said traditional ideas like polygamy, once popular in Kenya, don’t work in modern society.

“This is where sometimes traditions can get in the way.  As many of you know my father was from Kenya. We see this in other parts of the world.  Some of the old ways of gender relations might have made sense in a particular setting, all right?  So in Kenya, for example, in the Luo tribe, polygamy existed.  It was based on the idea that women had their own compounds, they had their own land, and so they were empowered in that area to be self-sufficient.  And then urbanization happened, suddenly the men may be traveling to the city, and suddenly there is another family in the city and the women who are left back in the villages may not be empowered.”

President Obama then targets female genital mutilation and violence towards women needs to be erased from Africa’s future.

“Female genital mutilation, I’m sorry, I don’t consider that a tradition worth hanging onto,” Obama said. “I think that’s a tradition that is barbaric and should be eliminated. Violence towards women. I don’t care for that tradition. I’m not interested in it. It needs to be eliminated.”

Obama said continuing gender inequality in Africa could hamper economic growth and progress on the continent. He implored the African crowd to make advancement for women a universal priority.

“All the men here have to be just as committed to empowering women as the women are. That’s important,” Obama said. “I don’t think that this is just a job for women to worry about women’s issues. The men have to worry about it. If you’re a strong man, you should not feel threatened by strong women.”

Critics say the language was not harsh enough or condemning of the behavior, so let us know what you think.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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