[T]he more I traveled and met with girls and learned from experts about this issue, the more I realized that the barrier to girls’ education isn’t just resources. It’s also about attitudes and beliefs – the belief that girls simply aren’t worthy of an education; that women should have no role outside the home; that their bodies aren’t their own, their minds don’t really matter, and their voices simply shouldn’t be heard – First Lady Michelle Obama
Last night, I watched the CNN Documentary: We Will Rise with First Lady Michelle Obama and was inspired and moved when I heard the stories of the girls in Liberia and Morocco who were to meet her. It made me think of how some of our children take education for granted. These girls long to be in a classroom, learning but sadly, they are denied this because of child marriage, pregnancy and poverty. If a family has a boy and a girl, the boy will go to school while the girl stays at home. And there’s belief that girls belong at home not in schools. Those who are fortunate to get an education have to walk a long way to school in areas that are not safe.
One girl lived with her uncle and aunt because her mother wanted her to have an education. She worked hard, keeping the home, taking care of her cousins before going to school. At night, from 9-11pm she studied her books using a flashlight to see in the dark room while everyone else was asleep. Her education helped to save her uncle’s life.
When the Ebola broke out in Liberia, she recognized that her uncle had the symptoms of the disease. At first he dismissed what she was saying because she was a girl but she insisted and he was quarantined and then nursed back to health. She had learned the symptoms in her Biology class. Her favorite subject is Science. Perhaps, one day she will become a scientist. Another girl dreamed of being a journalist while another wanted to be an engineer, a discipline that was predominantly male. You can watch her story here.
In Morocco, girls were missing school for five days. Meryl Streep discovered why. Here’s the clip.
Girls need to know that they are valued and that they deserve to have an education. Educating a girl will change not only her life but the lives of many. Take action today and sign the petition for more girls to receive education. Help their dreams to become reality. Education is key to success, quality life and opens the door to so many opportunities. No one should be denied a basic right such as education. Take the pledge and give a girl the opportunity to have an education. TOGETHER, WE CAN LET GIRLS LEARN!
We’re in this together. Because these girls are our girls. They are us. They each have the spark of something extraordinary inside of them just like our daughters – and our sons – and their fate is very much our responsibility – First Lady Michelle Obama