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Michelle Obama: Global Education for Girls Goes Beyond Brick-and-Mortar Investments

Michelle Obama: Global Education for Girls Goes Beyond Brick-and-Mortar Investments

In a letter on this morning, Michelle Obama addressed her commitment to helping girls across the world achieve equality through education.

Today, she is urging world leaders to view the issue of providing education to women as not entirely dependent on just increasing resources, but also on inspiring a certain cultural shift.

While she agrees that investments into education projects such as leadership camps, school bathrooms and scholarships that reduce school fees are crucial, she argues that these mean nothing without a change in restricting cultural beliefs and practices.

Scholarships, bathrooms, and safe transportation will only go so far if societies still view menstruation as shameful and shun menstruating girls. Or if they fail to punish rapists and reject survivors of rape as 'damaged goods.' Or if they provide few opportunities for women to join the workforce and support their families, so that it’s simply not financially viable for parents struggling with poverty to send their daughters to school.

Change, she says, involves both investment into girls’ education and challenging laws and practices that "silence, demean, and brutalize women—from female genital mutilation and cutting, to forced child marriage, to laws that allow marital rape and disadvantage women in the workplace.”

This moral issue transcends politics and economics for Obama, and she says she will continue to travel the world to inspire change.

"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. I plan to keep urging world leaders to invest in their potential and create societies that truly value them as human beings.”

Read the Michelle Obama’s full post here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor



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