Now, the most important people in my life have always been women.
I was raised by a single mom, who spent much of her career working to empower women in developing countries.
Holding an office where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. But perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store.
But for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to 45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval Office.
I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms.
The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle.So I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty aware of the unique challenges women face—it’s what has shaped my own feminism.But I also have to admit that when you’re the father of two daughters, you become even more aware of how gender stereotypes pervade our society.And while I’ll keep working on good policies—from equal pay for equal work to protecting reproductive rights—there are some changes that have nothing to do with passing new laws.This is something I spoke about at length in June at the first-ever White House Summit on the United State of Women.Thanks to more than a decade in the public eye, thousands of photographs capture their relationship, seeming at once comfortable and restrained, joyous and subtle. In one frame, hundreds of spectators photograph the couple dancing during the official Inaugural Ball. Obama watches the president speak on a television, alone.Here’s a look back at some of the moments, many of them captured by the Obama’s White House photographers, that followed that date on Chicago’s Southside 27 years ago.In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are financially independent. That would do a disservice to all those who spent their lives fighting for justice.At the same time, there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world.As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest.