Michelle Obama Joins Snapchat Ahead Of Africa Trip To Fight For Gender Equality

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Michelle Obama has joined the popular messaging app Snapchat to promote her upcoming trip to Liberia, Morocco and Spain, where she plans to talk about the educational obstacles facing women.

First Daughters Sasha and Malia will join Michelle, along with the girls’ grandmother, Marian Robinson; actor and U.S. gender equality activist Meryl Streep; and Indian “Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto.

They’ll visit Monrovia, Marrakech and Madrid to talk about educational obstacles facing women.

U.S. President Barack Obama is a huge fan of Oscar-winning Streep, VanityFair reported. In 2014, he said so while presenting her with the Medal for Freedom. The highest civilian award of the U.S., it recognizes people who made especially great contributions to the country and world for peace, cultural or other public or private endeavors.

“I love Meryl Streep,” Obama said. “Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There’s nothing they can do about it.”

Michelle’s Snapchat account, “michelleobama” will be used to give “young people a fun way to follow her trip” with her teen daughters as they promote girls’ education — one of Michelle’s signature issues as the first lady — the White House said, according to a Reuters report.

She’ll be posting Snaps from the White House, giving her followers a behind-the-scenes look at her daily activities and official events she and the president attend throughout the year, The Verge reported.

Snapchat is a mobile app where posts disappear within 24 hours. It has more than 100 million active users, most under the age of 25.

Michelle’s first Snapchat post on Tuesday was a selfie with the caption, “Oh hey! Look who just joined @Snapchat. Add: michelleobama.”

She already has 5 million followers on Instagram and 4.6 million followers on Twitter, Reuters reported.

This isn’t the first time Michelle and Streep will be working together for gender equality.

They were interviewed together for More magazine in 2015. Streep discussed why equal rights are important to her. Michelle talked about how girls should feel about education:

“Education, education, education. There are too many kids who think high school is a pit stop to fame and fortune,” Michelle said. “I want girls in this country to think education is the coolest, most important thing they could ever do in their lives.”

“We’re viewed as equals—but we’re still not there yet,” Streep said. “For the first time, we have the expectation that we can have a broad array of choices, that we could lead in almost any part of society. And yet we face resistance. We see that here at home in our government—in the House and the Senate. We see that in our boardrooms. We see that in Hollywood.”

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“The challenge for our girls, I think, is dealing with that resistance,” Streep continued. “How can we lift and defuse it, how do we make it so our equality is not so threatening?”

The first stop of the trip is in Liberia on June 27, FrontPageAfrica reported. Michelle will visit a Peace Corps Training facility where young women are participating in a camp, Girls Leading Our World.

She’ll meet President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and take part in a discussion moderated by Pinto on the educational barriers girls face in Liberia.

In Morocco, Michelle, Streep and Pinto will discuss the challenges Moroccan women deal with on a regular basis.

On June 30, Michelle will speak in Spain about Let Girls Learn, a government initiative aimed at helping girls get a quality education, Front Page Africa reported.

Despite a presidential election months away, the first lady said she wants to continue using social platforms to engage her large online following for the good of youths and veterans. There’s still plenty of time to “drop the mic on some of this stuff,” she said in an earlier interview with The Verge.

 


About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.