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Obama urges Kenyans to change attitudes about women and girls in closing speech

Children with painted faces to celebrate Obama's visit to Kenya on July 24 in Nairobi. Till Muellenmeister/AFP/Getty Images

Wrapping up his 2-day visit to Kenya, his father’s homeland, Barack Obama urged the nation to end discrimination against women and girls. “Any nation that fails to educate its girls or employ its women and allow them to maximize their full potential is doomed to fall behind in the global economy,” he said to a crowd of 4,500 gathered in Nairobi.

“There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence. There’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There’s no place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children,” said Obama. “These traditions may go back centuries. They have no place then the twenty-first century.”

Obama also spoke at length about his African heritage. It was his first trip to Kenya since taking office, and the first time a U.S. president has visited the country.

Read the full story at the Guardian.

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