Friday, March 06, 2015

Blog post #4, 11:30 pm, 3/6/2015, Education, Lacretia Benton

The first ladies of the United States and Japan are planning to discuss boosting girls' education around the world. Mrs. Obama will visit Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, from March 18-20 and end the trip with a March 21-22 stop in Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia, the White House said Tuesday.Cambodia is an interesting choice for the first lady. President Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cambodia in late 2012 after his re-election. White House officials insisted at the time that Obama was only going because Cambodia was the host for two annual regional summits he has made a point of attending. Obama appeared visibly unhappy during the brief visit. The president and first lady, the parents of two teenage girls, both say their own success would not have been possible without education, and everywhere they travel they encourage young people to finish school. In the U.S., Mrs. Obama also leads a separate initiative encouraging young people to continue their education after high school. The administration is putting under the “Let Girls Learn” umbrella a range of programs currently operating largely across Africa and the Middle East that focus on education, empowerment and leadership, health and nutrition, gender-based violence, and early and forced marriage. In Japan, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance the two countries place on international girls’ education. President Obama traveled to the close U.S. ally on a state visit last April, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to make a reciprocal visit soon. Cambodia is one of 11 countries included in the first year of the “Let Girls Learn” program to be run by the Peace Corps.

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