Girls Deserve Better – Michelle Obama

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

This week the world celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child, a day that the UN has dedicated to create awareness of gender inequalities faced by girls worldwide.


It was a day that also looked at issues surrounding education such as nutrition, legal and medical rights, teenage pregnancy, performance, mismanagement of academic time and truancy are some of the factors influencing higher dropout rates.

In Dar es Salaam, the US embassy hosted 50 Tanzanian adolescent girls in a digital global conversation with the US First Lady Michelle Obama about the importance of girls’ education.

Nasra Abdullah a teenage girl who looks forward to becoming a doctor was the star of the day as she engaged Mrs Obama in a real-time online conversation.

Nasra referred to her as the ‘First lady of the World’, a compliment that Mrs Obama said she was ‘happy with the promotion’.

Nasra spoke of the various issues that have continued to hold back the Tanzanian Girl Child including the notorious genital mutilation and child marriage.

First Lady Michelle Obama headlined “A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education,” a real-time online conversation with adolescent girls around the world hosted by Glamour magazine’s The Girl Project.

The First Lady advised girls to treasure and be hungry for knowledge because with it they become better fighters, champions, policy makers for the next generation and world leaders who are going to make these changes. Participating in the conversation live from Washington, D.C., Mrs. Obama was joined by actress and activist Yara Shahidi, as well as Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive.

peaking via video-chat, girls from Tanzania, Jordan, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States discussed the challenges they face and hope to overcome in attaining a high-quality education.

Other celebrities from all five countries also joined the conversation, including songstress Vanessa Mdee, who facilitated a question-and-answer session between the Tanzanian participants and girls from other countries.

“Girls in Tanzania deserve every opportunity to reach their full potential,” Mdee said.

“I’m passionate about supporting their education and I’m so glad to be part of this event to highlight what Tanzania and other countries can do to prepare them to succeed in school and beyond.”

Tanzania is one of the first two priority countries under the Let Girls Learn initiative, launched in 2015 by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to address a range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attaining a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential.


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