If there’s one thing we can say about Michelle Obama, she’s used her time in the White House wisely and at the benefit for young girls around the world. But we doubt her work will end once bags are packed the Obama family leaves.
In a recent piece for the Atlantic, Mrs. Obama wrote about the 62 million girls worldwide who do not have access to education, and that is a travesty within itself.
Often, understandably, this issue is framed as a matter of resources—a failure to invest enough money in educating girls. We can solve this problem, the argument goes, if we provide more scholarships for girls so they can afford school fees, uniforms, and supplies; and if we provide safe transportation so their parents don’t have to worry that they’ll be sexually assaulted on their way to or from school; and if we build adequate school bathrooms for girls so they don’t have to stay home when they have their periods, and then fall behind and wind up dropping out.
And it’s true that investments like these are critical for addressing our global girls’ education crisis. That’s why, last spring, the president and I launched Let Girls Learn, a new initiative to fund community girls’ education projects like girls’ leadership camps and school bathrooms; educate girls in conflict zones; and address poverty, HIV, and other issues that keep girls out of school.
Since launching Let Girls Learn, the First Lady has been on a crusade and she’s also enlisted some heavy hitters in the private sector and entertainment industry to follow her lead.
It’s not surprise education is dear to her, especially since she’s a mother of two teenage daughters.
“As a first lady, a mother, and a human being, I cannot walk away from these girls, and I plan to keep raising my voice on their behalf for the rest of my life,” she wrote. “I plan to keep urging world leaders to invest in their potential and create societies that truly value them as human beings.”