Obamas encourage world to Let girls learn At left. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama announce their Let Girls Learn initiative (AP photo / Thinkstock)
Obamas encourage world to Let girls learn
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Saying every girl "has value," President Barack Obama has announced a more focused government effort to help tens of millions of girls around the world. The effort would focus on girls attending and staying in school. Michelle Obama said she will go to Japan and Cambodia to promote it.

The president said that, as the father of "two fabulous, extraordinary, awesome young women," he wants to help make sure that "no girl out there is denied her chance to be a strong, capable woman." Yet more than 60 million girls are being denied schooling for a variety of reasons, he said.

Obama said the U.S. works quietly to support educating girls. But its many programs must become a single, coordinated strategy.

"We're making it clear to any country ... that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school," Obama said. He announced the "Let Girls Learn" initiative. He was at the White House with the first lady standing beside him.

Mrs. Obama said the issue is personal for her.

"I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls."

The Obamas are parents of teenagers Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13. The Obamas say their own success would have been impossible without education. During their travels, they encourage young people to focus on education. In the U.S., Mrs. Obama urges students to pursue education after high school.

As part of the effort, Mrs. Obama said her office and the Peace Corps will work jointly. They want to highlight community-based solutions.

The Peace Corps already has thousands of volunteers at work. They are stationed in more than 60 developing countries. Its "Let Girls Learn" program will begin in Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda.

Mrs. Obama will travel to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, from March 18-20. Then she will go to Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia from March 21-22.

The first lady said she will visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie. The Japanese first lady "shares our passion for girls' education and is eager to partner with us in this work."

In Cambodia, Mrs. Obama said she will meet with Peace Corps volunteers. She will visit a school where "community-driven solutions are changing girls' lives."

Cambodia is an interesting choice for the first lady.

In late 2012, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cambodia. Cambodia has been led since 1985 by Prime Minister Hun Sen. He has a reputation for ruthlessness. There is low tolerance for opposition.

Mrs. Obama said the new initiative is as much about students in the U.S. as it is about educating girls abroad. She said she wants to help youngsters in America learn about the sacrifices girls around the world make to get their education.

"I want our young people to be awed by these girls. But more importantly I want them to be inspired and motivated by these girls," Mrs. Obama said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do the President and First Lady think it is important to focus on this issue?

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COMMENTS (67)
  • CateS-Kut
    3/09/2015 - 04:40 p.m.

    Barack Obama and the First Lady think this is important because they want every girl to have the same rights to go to school. They also want everyone to have an education. It is also important because if boys have the right to go than girls should too. They are also encouraging kids to go to collage after high school.

  • Eriku2
    3/09/2015 - 07:42 p.m.

    This article is about girls. It is specifically about how the obamas are telling the world to let girls learn. Mrs.Obama wants younger people to be in awe of these girls. I think that it is ggod for all girl to learn.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    3/09/2015 - 08:52 p.m.

    I think that it is cool for Michelle Obama to announce that girls also need to learn all the things like the all boys do because boys always learn new things also get taught to new things if they are going to new schools and go to new places. Well if Michelle Obama announces that girls need to learn new things like the boys because girls can't do any thing that is distracting to them.

    • Steve0620-yyca
      7/21/2015 - 08:36 p.m.

      REBUTTAL:

      I don't think that they should learn the same things. They should learn different subjects. The boys learn something and the girls learn something else. And in the last sentence, WELL What. You can't stop there. What do you mean girls need the learn new things like the boys because the girls can't do anything that is distracting to them. I don't understand what you are saying.

  • MaggieM-3
    3/10/2015 - 12:14 a.m.

    The President and the first Lady are really making a push for the education of girls in not only the United States but in many other countries around the world like Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda. They are taking the initiative to have girls attend and stay in school. They have two daughters, Malia, who is sixteen and Sasha who is thirteen, therefor making this a very personal issue for them because they see their daughters in the deprived girls. Sixty million girls around the world are deprived of education. Michele Obama has made the decision to work side by side with Peace Corps and its "Let Girls Learn" program. She will be visiting Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan and after visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia. The new program is not just to help the girls denied learning but also teaching American students that learning is a privilege and to motivate them through these girls.
    I think that it is really great of the President and the first Lady to really be looking out for the girls in the world that are very underprivileged and I think that it is very smart that they realize that in order to improve the United States significantly you are also going to eventually have to improve the rest of the world.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    3/10/2015 - 12:40 a.m.

    I think this is a concerning issue because girls need the opportunity to go to school. They need their chances to learn new things every day. Also, everyone has an opportunity to learn and advance in their studies. If men were refused of their rights of school, then they would complain that it wasn't fair. Men are doing the same exact thing to girls. They refused girls' rights to go to school.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why do the President and First Lady think it is important to focus on this issue?
    Answer: The President and First Lady think it is an important issue to focus on because they think everyone should go to school so that they can be able to learn new things every day.

  • cm2001Rosay
    3/10/2015 - 08:42 a.m.

    Its important because girls now a days dont feel as though they are wanted today people end up killing themselves because they dont think they are needed in today society so if the president adresses it they will feel wanted

  • nathang-Gon
    3/10/2015 - 11:22 a.m.

    i like obama care it is the best. i mean like free health care like swag. i like sweet potatoe. i like how people have cool ideas in the world.

  • Kellie0153
    3/10/2015 - 12:22 p.m.

    This article is about how President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have announced the "Let girls Learn" initiative. This program is about how girls have just as much a right to learn and stay in school as boys. The United States wants to make it clear to the world that girls should be treated with respect and be able to learn. Michelle Obama is planning to announce this program to Japan and Cambodia soon. I think that no matter what gender you are, everyone has the right to learn, and that is why I think that it is great that the United States is showing the world that girls deserve to be treated fairly.

  • emanh-Gon
    3/10/2015 - 12:41 p.m.

    Education is for everyone and girls deserve education just as boys do. Matter of fact my grandma only had education until the 11Th grade so, now its my job to make sure i get good education for my children and, for my sweet grandma. Women work so hard for their husbands and kids so, we need to appreciate what they have / do for us. Thank you because without the female origin we would be so lost not as just a country , not just as a continent but as a whole united universe in Jesus Christ.

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