First Lady Michelle Obama has embarked on a solo-trip to the Middle East, arriving in Qatar, where as part of her Let Girls Learn initiative she will give a speech to the World Innovation Summit for Education on Wednesday. “We cannot address our girls’ education crisis until we address the broader cultural beliefs and practices that can help cause and perpetuate this crisis,” the First Lady wrote in an essay published in the Atlantic ahead of the trip. “I’ll be urging countries around the world to both make new investments in girls’ education and challenge laws and practices that silence, demean, and brutalize women — from female genital mutilation and cutting, to forced child marriage, to laws that allow marital rape and disadvantage women in the workplace.” She launched the “Let Girls Learn” initiative earlier this year with President Obama, to ensure an education for the 62 million girls who are currently not in school across the globe. While in Qatar, she will also visit the Al Udeid air base, which plays an important role in the U.S.’ fight against the Islamic State group. Later during her trip, the First Lady will also travel to Jordan, where among other things she will visit a girls’ school built with U.S. Aid funds in the country’s capital of Amman.
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