Today in London, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama announced an expanded partnership with the United Kingdom to advance girls’ education around the world. This partnership builds upon investments made by the international community -- including the United States--and the new Let Girls Learn initiative, launched by the President and First Lady earlier this year.
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) June 16, 2015
In an opinion piece released by the First Lady today, she underscored the plight of the 62 million girls around the world who are out of school and the barriers they face to attend school, "This is not just a moral issue -- it is a serious public health issue: girls who attend secondary school marry and have children later, have lower rates of maternal and infant mortality and HIV/Aids, and are more likely to immunize their children. It is a national security issue, as education is one of the best weapons we have in the fight against violent extremism. And girls’ education is an urgent economic issue. Studies show that each additional year a girl attends school can increase her earning power by 10 to 20 per cent, and that sending more girls to secondary school can boost a country’s entire economy."
Today's joint announcement highlights the two countries’ shared commitment to advancing adolescent girls’ education worldwide. As part of that commitment, USAID and DFID announced a new partnership of up to $180 million over five years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that will enable more than 750,000 girls who are not in school to access accelerated and alternative learning programs in conflict-affected areas.
— DFID (@DFID_UK) June 15, 2015
The Let Girls Learn program in the DRC will help enroll girls and boys in accelerated learning programs so that they can complete a primary school education; reduce barriers for adolescent students to access schools; mobilize parents and communities to support girls’ retention in schools; improve the quality of teaching and learning materials; develop solutions to enhance students’ reading skills; and identify solutions to improve school governance.
Let Girls Learn is a U.S. government initiative that involves the Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, and others to ensure adolescent girls get the education they deserve. The United States and the United Kingdom will also continue to collaborate on girls’ education through DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge, and new instruments including USAID’s Education in Conflict and Crisis Network that will produce research, guidance and technical support, and a shared platform for what works to increase access to quality education for children and youth, especially adolescent girls.
For more information:
- Learn more about the Let Girls Learn Initiative.
- Read an Op-Ed by First Lady Michelle Obama: "Throw the School Gates Open to Girls Everywhere".
- Read White House Blog Michelle Obama, the Perfect Partner for Peace Corps and Let Girls Learn.
- Read the Joint Statement by the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
- Read Remarks by the First Lady and Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, in Let Girls Learn Town Hall.
- Read the First Lady's Remarks at the Let Girls Learn Roundtable.
- Read the First Lady's remarks at the Let Girls Learn Event in London, UK.
- Learn more about First Lady Michelle Obama's Travel to the United Kingdom and Italy.