Michelle Obama Talks Girls’ Education In London
America’s First Lady Michelle Obama was greeted like a true rock star when she visited London’s Mulberry School to promote her joint $200 million US/UK partnership in support of girls’ education. Launched in March, the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative will support teacher training, girls’ leadership camps and other community-based global projects that promote the advancement of girls.
The Mulberry School is in ‘an area of high deprivation, writes the BBC. Most students are from the Bangladeshi community and use English as a second language.
On its website, the Mulberry School describes itself as a place ‘where girls’ talents and abilities are nurtured in a safe, creative space and where they can develop their ambitions and the power for self-determination. Our aim is that all pupils should leave the school as highly-qualified, confident and articulate young women with a wealth of experience in the wider world.’
The project is expected to benefit ‘more than 755,000 girls aged 10 to 18,’ according to the press release. Estimates are that 62 million girls are out of school around the world, and most anti-terrorism experts including the US military argue that educating girls is the single greatest deterrent to terrorism on the planet.
The ‘Let Girls Learn’ press release documents a multitude of studies that argue ‘when a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community.’
The release also confirmed that ‘girls’ attendance in secondary school is also correlated with later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDs and significantly higher earning power.’
‘Every time I meet these girls on my travels abroad, I am blown away by their passion, intelligence, and hunger to learn – and I cannot help but see my daughters in them,’ Mrs. Obama wrote in the Financial Times. ‘Like my own girls, each of these young women has the spark of something extraordinary inside. The only difference is that my girls have had the opportunity to develop their promise
‘The world needs more girls like you growing up to lead our parliaments and our board rooms and our courtrooms and our universities,’ the First Lady told the students at Mulberry School. ‘We need you.’
In her Financial Times op ed, Michelle Obama tips her hand about life after the White House saying: ‘I intend to use my remaining time as first lady — and beyond — to rally leaders across the globe to join us in this work. Because every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.’