Like many people across the globe, I send my daughter to school each day without much thought behind the process. I take for granted that she has the opportunity to attain an education and learn the skills that she’ll need to help lead the next generations. In fact, just this morning I was feeling stressed about getting her to school and our busy routine. I found myself wishing that summer were here so we could have mornings that didn’t involve her heading out so early each day to learn.
I would likely feel very differently if my daughter didn’t have the opportunity to go to school, solely because she was a girl.
This sobering statistic provided by Let Girls Learn stopped me in my tracks: “62 million girls around the world – half of whom are adolescent – are not in school. These girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence.”
Yes. Even in today’s day and age, females still face oppression at the most basic levels. Every single time a girl is denied the opportunity for an education, we are thereby denying ourselves, and our children, hope for a bright future. Make no mistake, the leaders of tomorrow are being made today. Girls MUST be included within this realm.
It’s been proven time and again that educated girls are more likely to earn more wages, raise educated children, offer greater chance of improving her community and suffer less violence. A World Bank study found that every year of secondary school education is correlated with an 18% increase in a girl’s future earning power. To deny a child the opportunity to learn based merely on their sex is unconscionable.
I’m urging you to support Let Girls Learn, a collaborative effort comprised of organizations and individuals throughout the world, that is focused on community-based solutions to reduce the barriers restricting girls from attaining an education.
On Wednesday, April 13, at 11:00 a.m. (ET) / 15:00 (GMT) (use this handy link to convert to your time), First Lady Michelle Obama will be leading a live-stream call to action with World Bank President Jim Yon Kim. She’ll be joined by global leaders to advocate for the education of adolescent girls around the world.
It is impossible to help others rise up without affording them with the wisdom to be able to do so. Women make-up one half of the world’s population, yet in 2015, The World Economic Forum estimated that the gender gap would not close until 2133. How can we even speak of an enlightened society or our hopes for a better world if today there are over 62 million girls that are not even given the chance to learn?
In order to build a better tomorrow, we must educate the children of the world today. The opportunity for education must be afforded to girls as equally as it is to boys, without fail or hesitation.
You can use the hashtag #LetGirlsLearn on social media to help raise awareness of this effort and share information about this program.
You can also, of course, volunteer within your community to support the education of girls and help remove the social and economic barriers that prevent them from gaining an education.
As the wise and brave Malala Yousafzai said, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”