LAGOS: THE First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, paid tribute to local schoolgirls as she delivered the special key-note address today at the Global Education First Initiative’s (GEFI) event as part of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“I’m thinking about girls like Malala, I’m thinking about those brave girls in Nigeria, I’m thinking about all the girls who will never make the headlines, who walk hours to school each day, who study late into the night because they are so hungry to fill every last bit of their God-given potential,” she said.
Her sentiments came months after the Boko Haram sect members kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok Borno State.
Efforts to rescue them have failed so far.
Obama meanwhile vowed to work with world leaders and education advocates to ensure all girls and young women had the opportunity to go to school.
She called for quality education and the empowerment of girls and women to form part of the post-2015 development agenda.
“Keeping our girls safe on the way to school, teaching them relevant skills once they’re there, and ensuring they graduate from secondary school; all of these things must be a part of our agenda. Addressing gender-based violence in all of its forms … that needs to be on the agenda too,” Obama said.
Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, welcomed the political will from the highest levels for the ‘Quality Education for the World We Want’ event, which saw 14 Heads of State/Government and Ministers from all regions of the world, along with UN agency heads and international education leaders pledging their commitment to quality education.
“Quality education is more than an entry point into the job market. It is the foundation for personal fulfillment, for gender equality, for social cohesion, for sustainable development, for economic growth and for responsible global citizenship,” the Deputy Secretary General said.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY