By Marie Claire published
Melania Trump will have many duties as First Lady, but one of her most important jobs is to establish a few social causes to fight for through programs, initiatives, and campaigns. Michelle Obama's philanthropic endeavors are one of the many reasons she'll go down in history as a beloved First Lady: she's generally generally amazing, yes, but she also tirelessly worked on behalf of the Let's Move, her campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise for children, and Let Girls Learn, a government initiative that encourages girl's education, among others.
Melania will likely follow Michelle's leads and embrace the philanthropic duties of a First Lady, and has already said that she will advocate for women and children. With that in mind, we rounded up a few causes Melania could take up when she moves into the White House come January.
While on the campaign trail, Melania said she is dedicated to fighting youth bullying and cyberbullying. "Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers," she said in a speech according to NPR. "We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I'm privileged enough to become your first lady." Cyberbullying would be an excellent, and relevant, cause for Melania to take up, especially considering her son Barron is only 10 years old.
As an immigrant herself, Melania knows first hand how complex and lengthy the immigration process is. When she originally came to the United States from Slovenia, Melania began the citizenship process that started with a work visa, then a green card, and finally citizenship over the course of 10 years. Since she has this extensive experience, perhaps creating a program for immigrants who are in the United States on work visas who are interested in becoming full-fledged citizens may be of interest to her.
English is not Melania's first language. In fact, it's actually her fifth: her native language is Slovenian, and she also speaks French, Serbian, and German in addition to English, USA Today reports. As a non-native English speaker, Melania might consider creating a fundraising program for ESL, or English as a second language, programs.
According to the RAND Center of Military Health Policy Research, nearly 31 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health condition or reported that they have experienced traumatic brain injuries. Melania has expressed her support for our troops who have previously served our country and can certainly aid them by backing and developing programs that are dedicated to providing assistance for those who have been mentally affected from serving in the line of duty.
The International Labour Organization concluded in a 2014 report that 20.9 million people are forced into sex work and of that 20.9 million, 4.5 million people are exploited into sex trafficking. Nearly 98 percent of those who are sexually exploited are women and girls. With Melania repeatedly voicing that she's a strong supporter of women, here's hoping she considers working together with established organizations to campaign and follow through with actionable initiatives to combat sex trafficking in the world.
Recently the fashion industry has been receiving a lot of flack for photoshopping models and perpetuating a standard of unattainable beauty. Brands like Aerie and ModCloth took a public stance on the issue by putting up unretouched photos of their models in their campaigns. As a previous model herself, Melania could take a stand and reach out to brands to put an end to editing photos of models challenging the standards that are being pushed onto young women today.
Nearly 20 people per minute suffer physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States according to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence. One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical assault by a partner in their lifetime. It's an extremely critical and sensitive matter that the upcoming First Lady can address, while working with her husband to introduce comprehensive legislation on how she/the administration plans on to tackle this issue.
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