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: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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