President Barack Obama: The feminist

Story highlights

  • In an essay, Obama lauds working mothers and warns of the dangers of gender stereotypes
  • Some politicians are pushing for a constitutional amendment to guarantee equal rights

(CNN)For almost eight years, President Barack Obama has juggled many hats: he's a father to two, a husband and the leader of the United States.

As he nears the end of his presidency, he has taken on a new role: feminist.
In an essay published in Glamour magazine Thursday, Obama talks about the responsibility of men to join the fight against sexism, as well as the dangers of gender stereotypes, which he says "limit our ability to simply be ourselves."
    "We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive and ambitious in the workplace -- unless you're a woman. Then you're being too bossy, and suddenly the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back," he writes.
    In June, the White House held its first-ever Summit on the United State of Women, an event that sought to serve as an open discussion on gender equality.
    Obama's not the only international political figure who's publicly expressed sentiments on gender equality. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is known for being a staunch supporter of women's rights, recently declaring on Twitter that he is a feminist.
    Increasingly, several other male politicians are taking a stance, either in public statements or through endorsing key legislation to support women's rights. For example, politicians have reached across the political divide to push for the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution, legislation aimed at protecting women's rights and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.
    In his essay, Obama makes reference to Hillary Clinton's presidential nomination, saying all should see the moment as "historic," regardless of partisan preference.
    And he hopes that every little girl in the United States knows one thing: that their gender should never be thought of as an obstacle in the path to success.
    "I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance," he writes. "I want them to know that it's never been just about the Benjamins; it's about the Tubmans, too."