At the 2015 Fortune Powerful Women Summit, the inspiring First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of educating girls around the world. She addressed her audience of powerful businesswomen, emerging leaders and entrepreneurs about the global education crisis burdening 62 million girls right now from learning and filing their full potential.
The First Lady is a vocal advocate for girl’s education that has blossomed into her Let Girls Learn government-wide initiative that is working to help adolescent girls complete their education at a global level. One of hits main goals is to “encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.”
In this speech, First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to both the moral and economic need for more girls to be educated up through secondary school – particularly in developing countries where girls are less likely to continue schooling after primary education. For a snippet, here’s what she said about the economic side of the issue:
“I’m not just here tonight to make the moral case for girl’s education. I’m also here to make the economic case because the evidence about the economic impact of educating girls is overwhelming. For example, each extra year of secondary school can increase a girl’s income by as much as 18%. And one study showed that sending more girls to school can even boost an entire country’s GDP. Girls who are educated are less likely to contract HIV. They’re more likely to delay child-bearing. They have lower infant mortality rates and they are more likely to vaccinate their children. And when girls are raising healthier families and contributing more to their country’s workforce, that’s not just good for their economy, it can be good for economy too since we all know rising incomes and standards of living abroad are good for companies here at home.”
It’s a lovely and long speech that reminds us how giving girls education will lift up not only her and her family’s life, but the community’s at large. Investing in girls’ education in one nation will ripple to growth and success in others. Watch the whole clip here.
Cover image courtesy of Fortune.