Everyone wins when girls go to school. For every year of education a girl attains, her future earning potential goes up by 10 to 20 percent. And because she is likely to share up to 90 percent of her earnings with her family and her community, everyone around her will benefit. Her children will be more than twice as likely to survive past the age of 5, and they will be healthier and more likely to go to school than will the children of her less literate sisters. Ultimately, educated girls grow into productive women who contribute to their countries’ economies and help pull others out of poverty.
Nonetheless, over 62 million girls around the world are not in school, and millions more are fighting to stay there. Thus, to increase education opportunities for girls, the United States Government introduced Let Girls Learn, a program through which a number of U.S. government agencies and non-governmental organizations, including the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, the Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, work together to address some of the obstacles preventing adolescent girls from attending and completing school, and receiving high quality education.
Pakistan is one country where girls often find it difficult to attend school. This may be due to lack of funds, because they live too far from the nearest school, or because some within their society disapprove of education for girls, especially once they reach adolescence.
That is why the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and First Daughter of Pakistan, Maryam Sharif, launched the Let Girls Learn initiative in Pakistan on October 22, 2015 at the White House. This initiative will provide 70 million dollars for new and existing education programs that will help educate 200,000 Pakistani girls between the ages of 10 and 19.
"Educated girls become women who strengthen their families, communities, and countries," said USAID Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt. "By increasing access to educational opportunities during the critical time of adolescence, this important initiative will be transformative for Pakistan, empowering young women to overcome barriers and lift themselves out of poverty.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Pakistan and our partners around the world to ensure girls everywhere get the education they deserve."