Michelle Obama photo

Remarks by the First Lady at the Let Girls Learn Roundtable in London, United Kingdom

June 15, 2015

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much, Tina. That's a mouthful, but it's all good stuff. (Laughter.) And that's one of the reason why I'm so excited to be here.

The Mulberry School. This school is an amazing, shining example of what we can do around this issue. All it takes is to walk into that courtyard like I just did a few minutes ago and hear the voices of those young women just standing strong and smart and confident.

And I meet girls like this everywhere I go around the world. And that's who we're fighting for. That's what this initiative is all about. Because there are 62 million young women like all of the girls here and around the country who aren't getting an education, and their potential is just being lost.

And we can't afford that. We can't afford that in any of our countries. We can't afford that on the world stage.

So it's really going to take all of us partnering together, which is why this partnership with the United States and the UK is so exciting. Because the UK has been a leader on educating adolescent girls for quite some time, and it is my hope that the U.S. will soon continue to invest and catch up to the levels that you all are doing here in the UK. And the will is there for certain.

My job here today is really to listen. I'm still learning in this space, so I want to find out how I can use my position, wherever it may be, to continue to lift up those voices and to be effective at it, and to make sure that we're basing what we do on good research and good outcomes-based approaches; that we're talking to the community, that we're partnering with organizations on the ground who know these communities and understands what it takes to overcome the barriers that these girls are facing.

So our goal is to be value-added every step of the way. And if stepping in and shining a light and giving some hugs will help, I'm there. But we want to do even more.

So this resource commitment and the international travel that I'm going to do as First Lady until the end of this term is going to highlight this work. We're going to try to use our leverage to pull in more partners, to get more resources, to get the U.S. to commit even more to this initiative.

So I'm excited. And I'm really honored to have you all here working together on this issue.

Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady at the Let Girls Learn Roundtable in London, United Kingdom Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/321765

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