In an article published in The Atlantic on November 2nd, First Lady Michelle Obama addresses what she calls “the global crisis in girls’ education.” She attributes this predicament to a systematic pattern of under-investment in the education of females, whether in the basic school necessities of textbooks and desks or in clean bathrooms and safe and secure school environments. With her husband the president she founded “Let Girls Learn” last spring, which is a widespread government initiative that brings together various stakeholders with the aim of ensuring that adolescent girls have access to education. This means not only addressing a host of various issues that prevent girls from learning—poverty, access to health care, and having to travel long distances, et. al.—but also working with U.S. agencies, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies and grassroots programs to address these issues and ensure results, especially in conflict areas. “Let Girls Learn” will provide funding and other resources to existing and new initiatives, such as community education programs, girls’ camps, and Millennium Challenge Corporation- and Peace Corps-led education projects, so that girls worldwide will not miss out on the opportunities that arise from education.
Obama does acknowledge that in order for true change to occur, there must be cultural shifts reevaluating the importance of girls’ education and their future contributions to the economic, social and political development of their respective nations. The end goal should be that all women, no matter geographic location, have the ability to realize their dreams.
Read The Atlantic article here and learn more about the organization at the official Let Girls Learn website.