October 12

We Will Rise: Empowering Girls Education Globally

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“Unlike so many girls around the world, we have a voice. That’s why, particularly on this year’s International Day of the Girl, I ask that you use yours to help these girls get the education they deserve. ” Michelle Obama, We Will Rise

Reflections: We Will Rise - Empowering Girls Education Globally
Reflections: We Will Rise – Empowering Girls Education Globally

CNN International: “We Will Rise” promo

Globally, 62 million girls are not in school. As a girl grows older the fight to get an education becomes even harder. Her family must be willing to pay school fees. She risks long, unsafe walks to school. She may be forced to marry. And she often lacks access to healthcare and the support she needs to learn. USAID LetGirlsLearn Initiative

What issues matter to you and your loved ones? Did you know that yesterday was the International Day of the Girl Child?  Did you also know that our first lady, Michelle Obama, in collaboration with CNN, has created a documentary that speaks to the challenges and issues facing young girls around the world?  The documentary, We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World, which airs tonight on CNN at 9pm EDT focuses on how education for girls can empower and increase their participation as productive members of society. The inspiring piece is a stark and powerful reminder that girls education and empowerment must remain one the most important goals of the 21st century.  We live in a world where 62 million of 1.1 billion girls do not have access to an education. Tied in with the denial of educational opportunities are the lack of equal economic opportunities and the freedom to shape their own destinies.  When girls are denied access, the impact is long reaching and increases lingering generational poverty.

While many of us live in nations where we enjoy the right to express our opinions on a wide range of subjects, many girls are forced into silence because they live in countries where girls and women remain subservient to males.  According to data gathered from UNESCO and other sources, girls remain the highest percentage of victims of violence globally. Girls lag behind in education  with 30% not enrolled  and forcibly discouraged from going to school. Sadly, what is often forgotten is that when a society encourages all its people to step up and participate in all arenas, such participation leads to national growth and prosperity for all.  In the documentary which shows Michelle’s visit to Liberia and Meryl Streep’s visit to Morocco and the conversations they have with young women in those nations, I am reminded again and again how fortunate those of us who live in countries that offer some modicum of equality are, and how much work still needs to be done globally.

READ: CNNWe Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World.
USAID: Fact Sheet Let Girls Learn


“Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights” United Nations Resolution 66/170  – via dayofthegirl.org

Reflections: We Will Rise - Empowering Girls Education Globally
Reflections: We Will Rise – Empowering Girls Education Globally

The First Lady Speaks on the Film We Will Rise – This new film tells the story of adolescent girls overcoming incredible challenges to achieve their educations and change their own lives, with contributions from Mrs. Obama, Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto, and CNN journalist Isha Sesay.

The documentary stresses the importance of girls’ education as their potential and contributions to society are what ultimately strengthen communities and nations. The film is inline with the First Lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, which seeks to break barriers to education for girls around the world. Rolling Stone

Female empowerment is not an anomaly and it begins with us.  We can support the various initiatives that  encourage gender equity by educating ourselves and others about the merits of encouraging all our children to receive an education. When girls are included in the conversation of a nation’s prosperity goals, everyone benefits. As a mother, I know that because my daughters were able to go to college and find jobs in their fields of interest, they will contribute their skills to society and be able to make choices freely.   This year, the  UN theme for International Day of the Girl (11 October) is  Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls. One of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to support gender equality globally, and we can only achieve that goal if we support programs and demand laws that lift barriers to female empowerment.

In the USA, we can support equal-pay-for-equal-work in our places of work, and encourage our daughters to venture into fields that were once dominated by males.  Globally, we can support organizations that fight to increase female education and socioeconomic participation, and make a commitment to practice what we preach in our homes.  We can choose to wear blinders or make a concerted commitment to encourage our daughters, sisters, and other females to reach for their dreams. We can do our part by sharing information on data and programs that help build gender equity, that offer opportunities for girls to get an education, and  that help them to become fully vested in participating in building their communities. It is an arduous but not an impossible task. It will take our commitment to reach that goal.

READ: CNN –  Michelle Obama: This issue is personal for me
RollingStone  – Michelle Obama, African Girls Talk Education in Inspiring ‘We Will Rise’ Clip

More Below!

“The world’s 1.1 billion girls are part of a large and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future. Yet the ambition for gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights the preponderance of disadvantage and discrimination borne by girls everywhere on a daily basis.” UN/GirlChild

Reflections: We Will Rise - Empowering Girls Education Globally
Reflections: We Will Rise – Empowering Girls Education Globally

Actress Frieda Pinto on ‘Girls Rising

Michelle Obama | ‘This is For My Girls‘ Released for Charity
The Diane Warren-penned “This is for My Girls” featuring Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe and others. Proceeds from the empowerment anthem benefit Let Girls Learn.

As I was doing research to gather data for this post, I took a look at the Discover Challenge for this week and it spoke about radical authenticity (I like that term)  and the art of exploring subjects and conversations that matter to us. Personally, I’ve always believed that each of us thrive when we stay true to our own personality and concerns, despite external pressures. As a mother, educator, and immigrant woman, I write about subjects that hold my interest and that help me, and hopefully my readers, learn about issues that affect us all. I am concerned about living in a world where all of our views are respected and valued. I am concerned about gender equity and the rights of those who don’t have a voice.  We Will Rise speaks to my heart and life experiences because I know distant relatives who never got an education and continue to struggle to make ends meet. 

I am concerned about creative freedom and the right to express our views however we wish and not be censored by those who think we ought to write about or be X, Y or Z.  I am concerned about living in a world where we can choose to view the world from a lens of our choice. If I choose to write about happy moments or sad moments so be it.  Frankly,  I have family and friends I turn to when I have personal struggles and need advice and I’m not interested in public confessionals so feel free to blame it on my generation … we just didn’t hang our dirty laundry in public.  Today, I invite you to watch We Will Rise at 9pm EDT. If nothing else, the lives of the young women featured in the piece will inspire and encourage you. Some go to school at great risk to their lives and many live in abject poverty…. These stories matter to me.   Do You. Write what you enjoy and let it inspire you to keep at it.  Honestly, I think authenticity is an overused and abused word and people express it differently; it means different things to different people. If we stay true to what matters to us then that is where our authenticity lives; not in someone else’s vision of what it ought to look like. To each his/her own, right? Enough said.

READ: LA TimesMeryl Streep heeds first lady’s call in CNN documentary ‘We Will Rise’
People.com – Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep Hug at White House Screening of We Will Rise Documentary

Part of this post is inspired by the Discover Challenge Post: Radical Authenticity: This week, explore authenticity and the breadth of our emotional experiences. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.


Have a productive week!


What are your thoughts? Did you celebrate International Day Of The Girl Child?  Do share!   Thank you.

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip:  Equal opportunity should be a given, not a privilege.  Take a stand on International Day of the Girl Child. Your voice matters.

Additional Resources

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Girls via Wikipedia Or  Girls via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet
















CNN - We Will Rise, DiscoverWP, DPchallenge, empowering girls, inspiration, International Day of the Girl, life, Michelle Obama, OCTOBER 11 DAY OF THE GIRL, postaday, reflections, We will rise documentary

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  • I am a returned peace corps volunteer and this work is so needed all over the world. I am so happy with the Let Girls Learn initiative the White House has started.

  • I love this! It’s so important to empower girls now so that they can become strong, powerful women.

  • This is such an important movement. One that shouldn’t even have to be a movement in this day and age, but I suppose you can say that about a lot of things. I’m glad people are championing it.

  • What an amazing and important movement. The world will be a better place when we all rise!

  • There is still so much to be done for girl child education around the globe. Everyday i go outside, there are still little girls vending in the streets instead of being at school, there are 12 year old mothers trying to care for their babies, SAD. Many of us are so lucky to have the opportunities we have but we don’t get to see what goes on in other less fortunate parts of the globe.

  • This is so wonderful!! We must empower girls education globally!! It’s SO needed and I think we’re on the right track!

  • This is so fantastic and inspirational! I love Michelle Obama. I really hope she runs for president one day.

  • Thank you for writing this. Empowering women, particularly young girls has always been my personal interest and dream to be able to do a real work to help. One day.

  • I think people take advantage of the way girls are treated in the US compared to the rest of the world. I haven’t seen this documentary yet, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it advertised more.

  • I think we take education and life for granted. It always angers me to see girls not being able to become their full potential. I do believe it is for that reason that other countries (the men) keep the girls from education because they are afraid of what will happen once the girls do get their freedom. They won’t be able to control them anymore. It saddens that so many are under so many restrictions, I can only imagine all the things that women could be doing that are being held down. I loved that song, Rise Up, it is so beautiful. (I’m writing this a second time as I’m not sure the first time went through)

    • Thank you, Eliza, I agree with your observations. We have a lot of work to do in our communities to rise girls up.

  • I’m all for female empowerment. In a world that tries to pin us against each other, it’s our time to stand up for what we deserve.

  • It’s important that girls have creative opportunities and ways to express their points of view. This seems more difficult in certain parts of the world.

  • I love individuals and organization who empower girls and women around the world. Getting into the minds of people in this country about the importance of this mission is critical.

  • I love this! Every child deserves to have an education. Our children are our future. 🙂

  • Wow what a beautiful worldwide initative for empowering girls. This is good and girls across the globe need this!

  • Women are the compassionate future with big heart and strong will. I enjoyed reading about true change to the better. As always – absolutely amazing content.

  • Education is wealth and it’s a basic human right that all girls around the world should have free access to.

  • It’s so important that girls get education the same as boys! Really hoping that will actually happen in my lifetime

  • Girl child empowerment is something that really needs to be worked on especially in my country where we have many cases of early marriages and female genital mutilation . our girls need to have a voice and biuld there independence. great article . Thanks for sharing this

  • I love your writing. I did not know that there was a international Day of the girl child and love leaning about it and sharing with my 10 year old daughter.

  • I need to watch this documentary, as it is the first time I hear about it. And I do love Michelle Obama, she is such an example of doing good in this world!

  • such powerful post, I have 2 girls and this just gave me a quick boost of confidence!

  • Yes! The education and empowerment of young girls is so Important for society as a whole. I’m always excited to hear people speaking out about it.

  • I feel lucky that I live in a country where both men and women are seen as equal. In fact, it was my Dad who instilled in me the sense of leadership and thirst for knowledge. I currently work in an industry dominated by males and I didn’t experience being discriminated for being a female. I feel sad that this is equality is still an issue worldwide and I wish it’d just stop.

  • ive seen and watched a lot of documentary films showing how other nations treat their ladies. i am so saddened how some women and little girls suffer from the brutality of men and even their own family.

  • What a powerful post! It shocks me that in some parts of the world, girls don’t have the right to an education. I hope that this change with the empowering actions from global leaders and just normal-day woman and girls.

  • This is amazing, Elizabeth. I’m with you, on empowering women and girls – especially those of colour, immigrants and refugees. I am also seeing Michelle Obama in my city soon, and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED!

  • you would really see how authentic michelle obama is from the way she talks from the way she moves she just commands in such a powerful and empowering way. you know that she really cares for our society

  • I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of International Day of the Girl before reading this post. I am going to make sure to watch We Will Rise to learn more about it.

  • We support all in empowering all girls, ladies, and women. Including the modern women of new gender.

  • In my country, there is a “equal opportunity employment” or so they say, but some companies are still impartial to married women for the reason that when they get pregnant, they will have to go on maternity leave that that would impact the company for reduced manpower. I think this is not right. I think education, employment and social status should be equal for everyone regardless of gender.

  • This was a great post! It’s really important to educate girls from a very young ages, no matter where they are in the world.

  • It is so sad to this there are girls/women around the world that are not allowed to use their voice. I find that terribly heartbreaking. So we must do it for them!

  • Education and speaking out are important for girls and women around the world. Having these days brings more awareness to this.

  • This is such a great advocacy because all girls should definitely have access to education and help them learn as they grow. Michelle Obama is one of the women that I really look up to because of her knowledge and good heart.

  • I so miss have an inspiration woman like Michelle Obama as the first lady. Hopefully we will have Jill Biden soon.

  • absolutely love your sharing here, all girls deserves an empowered education opportunities across the globe 🙂 Truly importance to have more of this awareness. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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