Michelle Obama: Educate every girl

On my final trip overseas as first lady, I visited a high school in Unification Town, a small village about ...

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 3:02 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 3:02 PM

On my final trip overseas as first lady, I visited a high school in Unification Town, a small village about an hour outside Liberia's capital city of Monrovia. There, I sat in a classroom where the only light came from the cloudy, rainy sky outside. As heavier clouds rolled in, the entire room dimmed, and I began to find it difficult to make out faces across even a short distance.

What I remember most from that day, though, couldn't be more clear: It's the promise inside each of those girls -- girls who show up every day to learn. They show up even after walking for miles or waking up early to earn some extra money to help pay their school fees. They show up even though their families depend on them to take care of younger siblings, cook meals, and ensure their household is running smoothly. They show up even though many are pressured to marry as adolescents, sidetracking their own goals for a man's.

Education

Michelle Obama

Political Figures - US

The girls in that school are joined by millions of others who aren't able to get an education at all -- today, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. The reasons for this are many, including scarce resources, early pregnancies, dangerous commutes, and threats of violence.

Equally pernicious is something they're taught from an early age -- the belief that because they're girls, they're simply unworthy of an education. It's the same toxic mindset that keeps girls here in the United States from believing they can become computer scientists or CEOs. And it's a mindset that together, we've got to change.

That's why today, on the International Day of the Girl, I'm proud to announce the Obama Foundation's launch of the Global Girls Alliance. We're seeking to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, so that they can support their families, communities and countries. The evidence is clear. Girls who attend secondary school earn higher salaries, have lower infant and maternal mortality rates, and are less likely to contract malaria and HIV. And studies have shown that educating girls isn't just good for the girls, it's good for all of us.

With the Global Girls Alliance, we'll lift up the grassroots leaders in communities all over the world who are clearing away the hurdles that too many girls face. These are offering scholarships, launching mentorship programs, preparing girls to become entrepreneurs, and reaching out to parents so girls are supported not just at school, but at home as well.

And because of the outstanding work that's been done for years by so many international organizations, the Global Girls Alliance is focused not on duplicating efforts or competing for resources, but on collaborating within the sector and building capacity for everyone.

We're centering our work around fresh ways of empowering those working on the ground to support these girls.

First, we'll connect organizations and grassroots leaders to each other, allowing them to hear about what's working elsewhere, to learn from one another, and, in turn, to achieve more together than they could on their own.

Second, we're working to connect these leaders directly to people like you. We've partnered with GoFundMe to create a new social fundraising platform at GlobalGirlsAlliance.org/donate -- a place where anyone, anywhere around the world, can support girls in places like India, Guatemala, or Uganda.

We've instituted a rigorous process to identify projects that need support, so whether you're giving a portion of your paycheck or a dollar from a lemonade stand, we don't take it lightly that you're donating your hard-earned money to this cause.

Finally, we're looking for everyone's help -- everyone can be an ally. I hope you'll visit our website to educate yourself on this issue, read about the tremendous work already being done, and get started taking whatever action you can. Believe me, one person can make a difference here. And together, who knows what we can accomplish?

As one girl told me that day in Unification Town, "If we are educated, the nation will be educated." Those words are true for her, they're for her nation, and they're true for all of us: The future of our world is only as bright as the future of our girls.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848137

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164052005
Mobile743681384
Madison53497738
Shelby38435371
Baldwin38195589
Tuscaloosa36152644
Montgomery34562782
Lee25655264
Calhoun22630520
Morgan22530411
Etowah20069520
Marshall18846318
Houston17777426
St. Clair16958359
Limestone16195220
Cullman16157306
Elmore15940295
Lauderdale15069307
Talladega14260302
DeKalb13083271
Walker12168380
Blount10779193
Autauga10560157
Jackson10214196
Coffee9435192
Colbert9366210
Dale9044192
Tallapoosa7285202
Russell710065
Chilton7090170
Covington6969197
Escambia6967144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5801142
Marion5437132
Dallas5302210
Pike5129109
Clarke485786
Lawrence4850130
Winston4793110
Geneva4655136
Bibb435795
Barbour370680
Butler3444101
Marengo342993
Monroe338366
Randolph337867
Pickens334890
Fayette331785
Henry321166
Cherokee320364
Hale319189
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252969
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141840
Sumter139841
Greene130545
Choctaw94428
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