First Lady Michelle Obama announced a new effort called “Let Girls Learn” to help girls around the world get access to education.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday, Obama said she will join Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, to “announce a new partnership to educate girls across the globe” this week in Tokyo. Obama said it’s critical other countries contribute in order to make an impact.
“[G]iven the magnitude of the challenge, U.S. action alone will not suffice, nor will the efforts of just a few concerned countries,” Obama wrote. “That is why this week in Japan, we will call for countries around the world to join us by making their own investments to help girls learn.”
While the goal is to improve access to education for girls around the world, Obama said she hopes “Let Girls Learn” will also inspire young people in the U.S. to work for an education and help others do the same. She highlighted the struggle some girls go through in order to get an education:
While the focus of this work is international, Let Girls Learn is also about inspiring young people here at home to commit to their education. Through Let Girls Learn, I want girls—and boys—here in the U.S. to learn about the challenges girls world-wide face in getting an education. I want them to understand that even though their own school might be far from perfect—and my husband is working hard to change that—they still have a responsibility to show up every day and learn as much as they can. And I want them to connect with other young people from every background and nationality, particularly young women who set such a powerful example.
These girls walk miles each day to school, study for hours each night, and stand strong against those who say they are unworthy of an education. If they are prepared to make those sacrifices, the global community should be able to summon the resources to help them fulfill their promise and the promise of their families, communities and countries.