White House launches global girls education program
President and First Lady Obama have announced “Let Girls Learn,” a White House initiative that targets global education for young women as a road to more economic opportunity, less child marriages and less violence towards women worldwide. The Peace Corps will partner with the White House and target 11 countries for educational programs in the first year that include Ghana, Moldova, Cambodia and Uganda.
A statement on the initiative from the White House reads:
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.
Yet 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.
Here in the United States we tend to bicker on the details of delivering an education to our kids, but we often forget the binding belief that American children DESERVE that baseline education. Outside the U.S., that belief is not as prevalent and that is especially true when it comes to young women throughout the world.
In some cases young women are treated as second-class citizens, or worse, against their wills. In other cases, young women are not given access to education and therefore have a very narrow view of the world and what role they should play in it. In both situations the U.S. should be at the forefront of extended education as a means for change and other countries should follow suit.