Today, women around the world enjoy unprecedented freedoms and opportunities. Freedoms that were difficult for many to imagine not so long ago. But too often and in too many places, women are still unable to fulfill their own potential.
That is why President Obama and I have worked hard to integrate women’s rights as a cornerstone of our foreign policy.
Because no economy or society can thrive unless women are given the tools to participate fully and contribute their energy, their vision, and their talents. I’ve seen firsthand how families, communities and nations can be transformed when women are given the chance to start a business or even just to go to school.
But real change comes not just from governments and elected leaders. It comes when we take it upon ourselves to be the activists for social justice and equality in our own communities.
That’s why I’m so heartened to know that you are participating in this program that celebrates the extraordinary life and legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, which will help you develop the leadership skills, the strength and confidence to make a difference in your own communities.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said that “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I hope you will take the lessons of your experiences here this summer and use them to help you fulfill the beauty of your dreams, seize your future, and help make this a better world. Thank you all very much.