According to the United Nations, countries lose more than 1 billion dollars a year by failing to educate girls at the same level as boys. And studies from the Brookings Institution report that just one extra year of secondary school can increase a girl’s future income by 10 to 20%.
Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation teamed up with Refinery29 for this year’s International Women’s Day to shine a light on the importance and urgency of empowering girls around the world — to ensure they can reach their full potential through education and, in turn, support their families, communities, and countries. The session featured a Q&A between Mrs. Obama and four young women from Nepal, Ghana, Guatemala, and Chicago, a critical dialogue she hopes will remind us that this is our issue to face, as much as anyone else’s.
“To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to reach out and connect with girls around the world — including in Chicago —to hear their stories and to share some of mine,” Mrs. Obama tells the media group. “Working to empower girls across the globe is my passion, and through the Obama Foundation, it will be something I work on for the rest of my life. I hope readers everywhere will be inspired to join me in this effort.”