Obama’s new Let Girls Learn initiative is very important — here’s why

In the United States, girls going to school isn’t unusual. We’re far from the time when education was considered a boys-only club. But that’s not the case everywhere in the world, where providing opportunities for education for women is still a struggle. Just look at teenage activist and recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was attacked by the Taliban as a 15-year-old for encouraging girls to go to school.

So this is welcome news: This week, the President and First Lady launched Let Girls Learn, a new education initiative designed to support schooling for girls across the globe. The program is a collaboration Peace Corps to work with communities around the world to develop solutions and strategies. Really, all over the world: Let Girls Learn will begin in Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda, and that’s just to start.

President Obama said that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, helped inspire the program, to make sure “no girl out there is denied her chance to be a strong, capable woman.”

“We’re making it clear to any country that’s our partner or wants to be our partner that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school,” he said. 

The First Lady will promote the program by heading to Japan and Cambodia later this month, speaking with leaders about how best to promote education for girls in their country.

And more than that, Obama sees them as inspirational for the young women living in the United States.

“I want our young people to be awed by these girls, but more importantly I want them to be inspired and motivated by these girls,” she added. “I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls.”

(Image via here.)

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