During a June appearance on The Tonight Show, Obama could not stop gushing about just how proud he is of both Sasha, now 15 years old, and Malia, now 18 and Harvard-bound. This summer, the pair joined their mother on a trip to Liberia, Morocco, and Spain in support of her Let Girls Learn initiative. Their father has also long been outspoken on the importance of educational equality, so we’re sure that the sense of pride is mutual.
Here are seven times President Obama killed it on the world stage — and, we hope, in his daughters’ eyes.
1. When Obama signed The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
It was the first bill he signed in his presidency, and one that might someday pave the way for truly equal pay. The Lilly Ledbetter Act made it easier for all workers to challenge discriminatory pay and set the tone for how Obama was determined to fight for equality as president.
2. When Obama spoke out against assault on college campuses.
President Obama launched the “It’s On Us” campaign in 2014 to keep students safe from sexual assault on college campuses, and he delivered a resounding speech about this important issue.
“When [students] finally make it onto campus, only to be assaulted, that’s not just a nightmare for them and their families,” Obama said. “It’s not just an affront to everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. It is an affront to our basic humanity. It insults our most basic values as individuals, and families, and as a nation.”
3. When Obama signed a memorandum expanding paid family leave for federal workers.
While the U.S. still technically can’t achieve paid family leave for all Americans until Congress acts, President Obama took the matter into his own hands in 2015. He ordered the heads of federal departments and agencies to change their policies to include paid maternity leave. It was a small — but mighty — act that moved the U.S. closer to joining the rest of the developed world, much of which already offers paid family leave.
4. When Obama promoted affordable and accessible child care.
In his 2015 State of the Union address, the president introduced a revolutionary plan to expand quality and affordable child care for all working families. The proposal could help millions of parents.
“It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us,” Obama said.
5. When Obama delivered a personal statement about Trayvon Martin.
The nation’s first African-American president addressed the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by speaking directly from the heart to describe the pain of racial disparity in the U.S.
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama told reporters. “There are very few African-American men in this country who have not had the experience of being followed when they are shopping at a department store. That includes me.”
6. When Obamacare made health care more more accessible to women.
The Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — was one of the president’s signature pieces of legislation. Obamacare helped modernize women’s health in the U.S. by prohibiting health care companies from charging women higher rates, including maternity care with all plans and allowing women to receive mammograms every two years.
7. When Obama showed the world “what a feminist looks like” at the United State Of Women Summit.
Speaking at the 2016 United State of Women summit, Obama boldly declared his support for feminism.
“I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like,” the president said during his address.