President Obama is advocating for women who have had the unfortunate experience of being harassed online.
While the First Lady was in Austin, TX at SXSW launching her Let Girls Learn initiative, the President held a reception in honor of Women’s History Month at the White House. Attendees included renown women such as: Cecile Richards, Nancy Pelosi and the first female NFL coach Jennifer Welter.
“One thing I’ve been thinking about this past week is the unique challenges women face in the virtual world” said Obama.
“Last Friday, I was at South by Southwest, where the epidemic of online harassment was a topic of discussion. We know that women gamers face harassment and stalking and threats of violence from other players. When they speak out about their experiences, they’re attacked on Twitter and other social media outlets, even threatened in their homes.”
He went on to share the importance of wage equality, education for women and feminism.
“What’s brought these issues to light is that there are a lot of women out there, especially young women, who are speaking out bravely about their experiences, even when they know they’ll be attacked for it — from feminist bloggers who refuse to be silenced, to women sports reporters who are opening up about the extreme safety precautions they need to take when traveling for work.
Every day, women of all ages and all backgrounds and walks of life are speaking out. And by telling their stories, by you telling your stories, women are lifting others out of the shadows and raising our collective consciousness about a problem that affects all of us.”
Obama concluded by mentioning how the fight for respect and equality isn’t just a woman’s issues, it’s also important that men speak up and their voice to the conversation.
“This is not just the role for women,” he said. “It’s about men speaking up and demanding better of themselves and their peers, their sons, their friends, their coworkers. Because we’re all in this together.”