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‘Being a good dad is most important job’

world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 01:40 IST

AFP
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The president of the United States said on Monday the most important job was not his but that of being a good father.

In an emotional plea to supporters on Father’s Day, President and First Father Barack Obama encouraged dads to “step up and fulfil their responsibilities as parents, partners and providers.

“As the father of two young daughters, I know that being a father is one of the most important jobs any man can have,” Obama said, referring to his daughters Malia, 11, and Sasha, nine.

Obama, whose Kenyan father left him when he was only two years old, has launched a national dialogue on how to address early on the challenges of father absence, dispatching top officials around the country to discuss the issue.

“I was raised by a heroic mother and wonderful grandparents who provided the support, discipline and love that helped me get to where I am today, but still felt the weight of that absence throughout my childhood. It’s something that leaves a hole no government can fill,” he said in an emailed statement.

“Studies show that children who grow up without their fathers around are more likely to drop out of high school, go to jail, or become teen fathers themselves.”