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Meryl Streep Reveals Who Inspired Her To Push For Gender Equality

The actress says it's important to see improvements among each generation.

Meryl Streep has long been a supporter of women’s rights and this past summer she traveled to Morocco with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the Let Girls Learn campaign, a trip that was filmed for CNN’s documentary, “We Will Rise.” 

In an exclusive clip from the film on People, Streep talks about what prompted her to take a stand for women’s rights and the importance of education for girls. 

“What brings me here is my grandmother,” Streep said. The Academy Award-winning actress, 67, revealed that by the time women were given the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920, her grandmother already had three children to look after.

Streep recounted how her grandmother was more concerned with who was elected to the local school board than who was in the oval office, so she always made a point of advising her husband on the people to vote for in school board elections.

“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,” Streep said as she met young girls in Morocco.

Streep stressed the importance of improving the lives of women across generations and shared in a speech how her parents were unable to go to university due to the high cost, but how she went on to graduate from Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. 

The actress has advocated not only for younger women, but for older women as well. Last year she helped fund a screenwriting lab specifically for women over 40, to make sure they have support and opportunities in the film industry. 

“We Will Rise” will premiere Wednesday at 9 p.m. eastern on CNN.

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