To educate a girl is to build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future. Unfortunately today, 62 million girls around the world are not in school. Half of them are adolescents. We know that countries with more girls in secondary school tend to have lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDS, and better child nutrition. But too often, a girl who could change her world for the better is locked out of that future by the circumstances of her birth or the customs of her community.
We know that a girl with an education can shape her own destiny, lift up her family, and transform her community. That is why President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be championing our efforts to help adolescent girls around the globe attend and complete school through the Let Girls Learn initiative, which will build upon the public engagement campaign the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched last summer. Let Girls Learn is a government-wide effort that will leverage the investments we have made and success we have achieved in global primary school, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education. A key part of Let Girls Learn will be to encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.