Michelle Obama has hosted a Broadway concert this week, benefiting girls across the world. The event aims to help girls attend school and progress in their education levels.
The First Lady's afternoon event was held at Broadway's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Monday, Sept. 19. The event was attended by school children, Girl Scout troops, and the spouses of government leaders, who are currently in New York City for the yearly general assembly of the United Nations, according to People.
"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert served as the event's emcee, while entertainment was provided by the casts of popular Broadway musicals: "Wicked," "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," "The Color Purple," and "Waitress." All these musicals showcased strong women in lead roles.
The event also featured girls' education advocates Queen Rania of Jordan and Gertrude Mutharika, the First Lady of Malawi. Also present were young women Noor Abu Ghazaleh of Jordan, Summyka Qadir of Pakistan, and Halima Robert of Malawi, who were there to discuss how education changed their lives for the better.
Obama's event was a part of her Let Girls Learn initiative, which ensures that adolescent girls attain quality education. During the Broadway event, FLOTUS said that there are 62 million girls around the world who do not attend school. In 2013, around 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were not studying at school, Unicef reports.
Obama urged the influential people in the event's audience to talk to their spouses about the cause and directly address the residents of their respective countries. Obama said that their standing as the spouses of world leaders granted them a "platform" that they can use to tell stories of the unfortunate and "bring people together to take action for these girls," People further reports.
Obama said that 19-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was the Let Girls Learn initiative's inspiration. She added that she doesn't possess an official budget nor is she authorized to make laws, so the initiative relies on the generosity of companies, organizations, and countries such as Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Obama believes that having a quality education is "power" and it gives people "confidence" to pursue their dreams and aspirations. Queen Rania, meanwhile, said that "everything is in your power" when you hold "the power of education within you."
"Giving education to girls helps end the cycle of poverty and creates a positive influence on the coming generations," Unicef notes. Educated women have less chances of getting married early against their will and are more likely to send their own kids to school, among others.
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