Let Girls Learn… literally

Let Girls Learn is essential to the lives of thousands of girls worldwide, advancing their lives and giving them better opportunities for equality.

Uproar spread across the media and social media earlier this week as speculation surrounding Michelle Obama’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ program hit headlines.  CNN reported that the Trump administration would be ending the program — but the White House later denied these claims and pinned the problem on misinformation and confusion among staff members.  However, the new administration is unpredictable and the budget slashes seem to be never ending — so ‘Let Girls Learn’ might not be safe forever.  The program is essential and needs to remain in the budget, ensuring prosperity for women worldwide.       

‘Let Girls Learn’ is a program that funds girls education worldwide- providing equal and quality access to education for many girls in developing countries such as Afghanistan, Nigeria and Guatemala.  The program was launched in March 2015 and brought together the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.  The program attempts to change the view of girls and women within the community by empowering them and changing the stigma surrounding girls education.  The program then sets up the environment for education and aids them in learning to make important life decisions and pave their way into society.    

According to the USAID, 98 million girls worldwide do not attend school, which increases the likelihood that these girls will live in poverty or die at a young age.  Since the launch of ‘Let Girls Learn’, it has invested about $600 million into the program, which has gone to educating millions of girls.  

According to the program, educating girls has a ripple effect on their families and their countries economy. One more year of education increases a woman’s salary by 25 percent, a girl who has a education is three times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, and children born to an educated mother are two times as likely to survive past the age of five.”

Educating women boosts the economy — data from women farmers in Kenya suggests that crop yield increases by 25 percent if girls attend primary school.  Also, countries where women hold more than 30 percent of seats in political bodies are more inclusive, democratic, and egalitarian.  Educating women is beneficial to everyone, establishing a happy and healthier lives for the women, her family, the community, boosting the economy and spreading democracy.  

‘Let Girls Learn’ is essential to the functioning of many developing countries.  Even though the program is safe for now, it needs to remain that way in order to stimulate women’s development throughout the world — advancing women’s lives.  If the Trump administration eventually ends the program, it would prove their blatant disrespect and disregard towards the importance of educating women and pushing towards women’s equality.