“I’m surprised at how much has changed but how much has not changed,” she said on “Today” while discussing the cultural movement to end sexual violence.
“I think that’s where the fire is coming from. Enough is enough,” Obama added. “The world is a sadly dangerous place for women and girls and we see that again and again.”
“I think young women are tired of it, they’re tired of being undervalued, they’re tired of being disregarded, they’re tired of their voices not being invested in and heard,” she said. “It’s not just around the world, that’s happening right here in this country. And if we’re going to change that we have to give them the tools and the skills through education to be able to lift those voices up.”
The former first lady also announced the launch of Global Girls Alliance, an Obama Foundation initiative to empower girls around the world through education. The foundation estimates that 98 million adolescent girls are not in school.
“The stats show that when you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community, a country,” she said. “If we care about climate change, if we care about poverty, if we care about maternal child health, then we have to care about education.”
Obama also urged people to support girls’ education in a CNN essay published Thursday.
“The evidence is clear,” she wrote. “Girls who attend secondary school earn higher salaries, have lower infant and maternal mortality rates, and are less likely to contract malaria and HIV. And studies have shown that educating girls isn’t just good for the girls, it’s good for all of us.”