When Women Succeed, the World Succeeds: What They’re Saying About the Let Girls Learn Initiative

President Obama and the First Lady have teamed up with the Peace Corps to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world through the Let Girls Learn initiative.

“A good education can lift you from the most humble circumstances into a life you never could have imagined.” 

— First Lady Michelle Obama

70% of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty are women. Education can change that.

Education is not a privilege, it is a fundamental human right for all. Through a global network of support, the Let Girls Learn initiative will put lasting community-led and community-generated solutions in place for the more than 62 million girls across the globe are not receiving an education. The Peace Corps will be expanding the number of volunteers focused on advancing universal access to education and will continue to break down the barriers to girls' education in the communities they serve.

The positive effects that an education has not just for girls, but also for their families, communities and countries are boundless. As a global community, we are making progress. While we don’t yet live in a world where every women has an opportunity to learn, we do have numbers telling us why we need too.

According to data from USAID, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday in the developing world. However, girls with a high school level education are up to six times less likely to marry as children compared to girls who have little or no education.

What's more, an education can save lives. In developing countries, medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls. However, if girls were offered a secondary education, almost 60% of girls under 17 years would not become pregnant in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. 

“We cannot allow challenges to rob generations of young women of their futures.”

— Ambassador Susan Rice

Individuals and groups have joined the President and First Lady in their stand for equal education worldwide by sharing support for Let Girls Learn. Here's what they're saying:

Find more information on the Let Girls Learn initiative here. 

Miranda Houchins is an intern in the White House Office of Digital Strategy.