This past week, our First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Jordan and to Doha, the capital of Qatar, where she spoke at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). Here, she addressed an audience of 2000 education leaders from 120 countries from the region and around the world. The First Lady discussed girl’s education globally, as well as her Let Girls Learn initiative at WISE, a Summit that works to find ways to improve education worldwide, such as “making sure students have the skills they need for exciting careers, and giving teachers the support and training they need to do their jobs, and designing schools for the future , schools that will educate students decades from now.” (Mrs. Obama)
Mrs. Obama addressed the conference to discuss the crisis in global girl’s education, where 62 million girls are not in school! Her speech focused on the needs for countries around the world to invest money in educating girls, pay their school fees, and provide safe transportation for them to school.
The First Lady went on to address the issues of how cultural beliefs and practices worldwide are harmful to women and girls. Some of these beliefs and practices can silence the voice of young women, “disregard their intelligence, and limit their dreams.” Thus, The First Lady believes that laws must be enacted to “protect women from violence; end harmful practices like forcing girls to get married when they’re still children; and do more to ensure that girls get their education.”
Finally, Mrs. Obama urged everyone at this Summit, and everyone reading about the Summit to use your voice and discuss the need for investment in the education of girls worldwide and the need to eradicate cultural practices that are harmful and unfair to girls.
She urges each and every one of us to get involved in supporting the education of girls worldwide; she urges us to educate our peers about this crisis. It is incumbent on everyone, including us teens, to tell people that girls around the world are being deprived of an education. We are the voice that will help girls around the world go to school, get educated, and fulfill their dreams.
My personal involvement is in the Hilde Back Education Fund, a Kenyan charitable organization that provides financial support to bright children from poor families to enable them get education at the secondary school level. In Kenya, students have to pay to go to high school. I have pledged to support one student through all four years of high school during the same years I am in high school.
My student is named Philis and she enjoys history, home science and physics. She will graduate high school because of the fund that has now given scholarships to 571 students in high school. This is my voice, having an effect on the life of one young woman. What will your voice be? How will you use your voice to help woman around the world to get an education? Thank you Mrs. Obama, your initiatives are an inspiration to teens!