Family values

President Obama’s half-sister reflects on empowering youth in Kenya, and Hillary Clinton

Auma Obama, half sister of US President Barack Obama, presents her new book "Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen" at the book fair in Frankfurt, central Germany, on October 7, 2010. The worlds largest book fair is open from October 6 till October 10, 2010. DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of Barack Obama’s first visit as U.S. president to his father’s birthplace of Kenya, CNN caught up with the Kenyan woman who shared a father with the commander-in-chief to learn about the ways she is empowering young Kenyan women — and her views on Hillary Clinton. Unlike her brother who was raised in Hawaii, Auma was raised half a world away, in Kenya, as the only girl in her family. On growing up as a girl in Kenya she said, “It wasn’t really that easy. I learned at  a young age that if you’re a girl, there are certain expectations of you, even if it’s something you don’t want to do. I’d ask ‘why?’ I’d be told ‘because you’re a girl.’” Auma recalls her step-grandmother telling her she should be passive and stop asking so many questions, or else she’d “never find a husband.” As an adult, Auma harnesses her rebellious nature for social change. She is the founder of an organization whose name translates to “Powerful Voices,” and her mission is to provide a space for young people struggling with poverty to pave their own future. Helping struggling youth is a vision she shares with her brother, who recently launched his My Brother’s Keeper program. Though Auma has been critical of Hillary Clinton in the past, most notably during the 2008 presidential campaign, now Auma says a female U.S. president “wouldn’t be a surprise … but it would be a great thing.”

Watch the video at CNN.

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