“When girls aren’t given the chance to realize their potential, the whole world loses out.”
That’s the mission statement driving the 62 Million Girls campaign, an initiative just introduced by Michelle Obama at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park. The first lady teamed up with Beyoncé, Malala, Bono and others to promote the initiative, and it has quickly gone viral.
So what is 62 Million Girls, and should you be hashtagging it?
Around the world, more than 62 million girls (half of whom are adolescents) are denied the right to an education, according to the United States Agency for International Development, who also said that without an education, “these girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence.”
FLOTUS has visited the young women and says she sees in them her daughters — everyone’s daughters — and says she cannot walk away from the obligation we have to them. The new campaign, along with Girl Rising, is part of Let Girls Learn, an initiative kicked off by the president and first lady in March 2015 to provide both the economic and social support girls need to stay in school.
The challenge is worldwide, but first-year efforts will target 11 countries: Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda.
So how can you get involved?
FLOTUS encourages everyone to post photos of themselves on Instagram and Twitter, along with a message of what they learned in school and the hashtag caption #62milliongirls.
— First Lady- Archived (@FLOTUS44) September 26, 2015
You can also:
- Learn the facts about 62 Million Girls from the White House.
- Join the first lady, the Peace Corps and USAid to Let Girls Learn.
- Watch the Girl Rising film, already seen by millions.
- Host a screening to spread the word in your own community.
- Educate others by sharing the campaign with area schools.
- Get connected via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.