First Lady Michelle Obama continues her fight for girls’ education as she travels through Spain, Morocco and Liberia with her mother and two daughters, Sasha and Malia. On Monday, she visited a leadership camp for girls in Liberia, where she encouraged the young women to fight to stay in school.

Photo: Snapchat
Photo: Snapchat

According to the Michelle Obama blog, during her trip, she met a 17-year-old young woman who founded an organization in her community to teach literacy and leadership skills. The young woman told FLOTUS, “if we are educated, the nation will be educated.”

Assuming this kind of leadership isn’t always easy, as gender norms are one of the guiding factors that keeps girls from classrooms in developing nations. In 2012, Malala Yousafzai almost lost her life in Pakistan for attending school and asserting her right to do so.

Girls’ education is a major concern in Pakistan, Liberia, Morocco and many other countries worldwide. The sheer cost of education alone will keep young women outside of the classroom. Other barriers include violence, poverty, early marriage/pregnancy and menstrual cycles.

In fact, according to UNICEF, more than 30 million girls of primary school age and lower secondary school age were not in school in 2013.

With number, this is why the Obama’s work with Let Girls Learn matters so much. During the FLOTUS’ visit to Liberia, the USAID announced that $27 million in funding would go towards programming in Liberia for Let Girls Learn.

Last year, Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama made a pledge to fight for girls’ education when they launched Let Girls Learn in 2015.

Follow the First Lady’s journey with #LetGirlsLearn as she blogs about it on Hello Giggles.

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