"I'm interested in these girls and their aspirations," Meryl Streep says during a trip to Morocco with Michelle Obama in CNN's We Will Rise

By Lindsay Kimble
October 11, 2016 03:05 PM

Meryl Streep is working to ensure that all women and girls have their voices heard — a privilege her own grandmother wasn’t allowed as a young mother.

In a sneak peek from CNN’s upcoming documentary about Michelle Obama‘s Let Girls Learn initiative, Streep reflects on why she was inspired to join the program and travel with the First Lady over the summer.

“What brings me here is this issue of equality for women and girls,” she explains during her trip to Morocco with FLOTUS and daughters Sasha and Malia Obama.


Streep, 67, also opens up about the person who inspired her participation.

“What brings me here is my grandmother. She had three children before 1920 so she couldn’t vote [women were given the right to vote in 1920].”


While Streep’s grandmother wasn’t much concerned with who was president, she was focused on who was appointed to the local school board.

“She would have to go to the golf course and find my grandfather on the ninth hole and hand him a piece of paper on the day of the school board election with the names written out,” Streep details. “And he didn’t care anything about that, but she wasn’t deemed capable of making that decision under law. It’s an issue shared across cultures.”

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During the Morocco trip, Streep, the Obama women and actress Freida Pinto participated in a panel discussion with local girls about the importance of education.


The visit was part of the Obamas’ six-day international trip to educate girls around the world as part of Let Girls Learn.

“I’m interested in these girls and their aspirations and how things have changed for their mothers, their grandmothers, how they will change for the daughters of these girls,” Streep says in the clip.

We Will Rise premieres on CNN International on Tuesday and CNN U.S. on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST.