Washington: US First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday criticized the kidnapping of scores of Nigerian schoolgirls as an “unconscionable act” by “grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”
Taking over the president's weekly radio and Internet address on the eve of the American holiday for honouring mothers, Ms. Obama said that she and President Barack Obama are “outraged and heartbroken” over the April 15 abduction of the girls from their dormitory.
“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters,” Ms. Obama said, referring to Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. “We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
What happened in Nigeria is not an isolated incident, she said, but is “a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions.”
Ms. Obama mentioned the case of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head as she travelled to school in 2012. Malala has become an outspoken advocate for the rights of all girls to get an education, the same message Ms. Obama delivered in her first solo address to the nation.