Thu, 18 Jul, 2024

Obama Announces 'Let Girls Learn' For Nepal

By Sushil Awale

  US President Barack Obama, in his speech at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit, has announced that his government will extend the “Let Girls Learn” program in Nepal and Laos. Let Girls Learn was initiated by President Obama, and the first lady, Michelle Obama in March 2015, together with the US government to address a wide range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attending a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential. “I’m proud to announce that an initiative that’s very important to me and to my wife Michelle, an initiative called Let Girls Learn, is coming to Laos and Nepal,” read a release of President Obama’s speech issued by The White House. “None of the countries anywhere in the world can truly succeed unless our girls and our women have the opportunity to succeed, the same opportunities as boys and men do,” the release added. The Let Girls Learn initiative helps to give young women across the globe greater access to education. The initiative is running small and big programs like Girls STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Math) education camp in Rwanda and a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation aimed at reducing the spread of HIV to young women in countries with a high HIV prevalence. 5246040202_867cfe1972_b Let Girls Learn not only focuses on education, but also pushes programs for empowerment and leadership; health and quality nutrition; addressing gender-based violence; and preventing child, early, and forced marriage. Nepalese government faced a backlash from the international community amidst an 118-page report titled Our Time to Sing and Play: Child Marriage in Nepal, released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) stating 37% of Nepali Girls marry before turning 18, while 10% marry before reaching 15. An initiative like Let Girls Learn can help to change the perception of young girls and women at the individual, community and institutional level in Nepal and can be a driving force to help the government curb problems such as child marriages in Nepal. Images: