US First Lady, Michelle Obama has reechoed her desire to continuously help adolescent girls and other women in Liberia and the world to have access to education.
Mrs. Obama’s promise follows her recent visit to Liberia and Morocco, and finally Spain where she interacted with hundreds of girls under the “Let Girls Learn” and “Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) projects.
During her visit on June 27, the First Lady promised US$27 million to help girls and women in Liberia facilitate their education.
In a dispatch from Washington, DC, Mrs. Obama said girls in Liberia and Morocco are ambitious to learn and to keep in school, but find it challenging as teenage pregnancy and rape in some instances prevent them from completing the school year.
She added that some girls in Liberia and Morocco cover distances on foot to get to school and study by candle light at night instead of electricity.
“But we know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it. They’ll walk for miles each day to school. They’ll study for hours every night by candle light, determined to learn as much as they possibly can,” she noted.
Mrs. Obama said studies indicated that educated girls earn higher salaries—10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school—and sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She said, “In Liberia, we’ll be running girls’ empowerment programs, working to end gender violence in schools, and supporting second-chance schools for girls who were forced to drop out because of pregnancy or rape.”
When girls are educated, they plan marriage very well, have lower infant and maternal mortality rates, and are more likely to immunize their children and less likely to contract Malaria and HIV, she said.
“That’s why, last year, President Obama and I launched Let Girls Learn; an initiative to help adolescent girls worldwide attends school. And this week, we were proud to announce major new efforts by the U.S. Government to promote girl’s education in Africa,” Mrs. Obama added.
She said the problem is huge that no one government can solve alone, and predicated upon it she had to end her visit in Spain to deliver a speech to an audience of young Spanish women.
In her speech in Spain, Mrs. Obama said, “I wanted to make a simple, but urgent point: Every single one of us in countries like Spain and the U.S. has the power—and the obligation-to step up as a champion for these girls.”
She told the Spanish women that listening to stories of the girls will give a clear insight of what they go through, and it moves people to empathize.
Statistics show that about 62 million girls in the world are unable to obtain an education.