A bipartisan piece of legislation that could help provide education for the 130 million girls worldwide who are not in school just reached a new milestone.
The US House of Representatives passed the Keeping Girls in School Act by voice vote Tuesday to support the educational empowerment of girls. Education advocates are celebrating the win, but the next step is getting the bill approved by the Senate.
“Today’s bill passage is a big step toward helping girls around the world overcome the obstacles keeping them out of school, like child marriage and other forms of gender-based violence,” Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) said in a press release.
The Keeping Girls in School Act was introduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives on April 9, 2019, by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
If girls everywhere were able to stay in school:— Rep. Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) January 28, 2020
👶Child deaths would drop by 50%
⬇ Violent conflict would decrease by 37%
💵$92 billion would be added to developing economies
Today, we made an important investment in girls' education by passing the #KeepingGirlsinSchoolAct! pic.twitter.com/tJqQ0Amx2Z
The act aims to address barriers to education for girls globally by allocating funds from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to countries where child marriage, female genital mutilation, and unplanned pregnancy put girls at risk of dropping out of school.
Universal secondary education could end child marriage, lift millions of women out of poverty, decrease child and mother mortality rates, and provide women and girls with the resources to live healthier, fuller lives.
Members of Congress committed to working across the aisle to support the Keeping Girls in School Act on the Global Citizen Festival stage in September. Their announcement was in response to over 30,000 actions taken by Global Citizens over a few months.
Today I was proud to speak on the House floor in support of H.R. 2153. In a world where millions of girls still do not have equal access to education, this bill provides funding, opportunities, and most importantly empowerment to future generations of female leaders. pic.twitter.com/W10XD5LYIx— Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (@RepBrianFitz) January 28, 2020
The bill then passed unanimously through the House Foreign Affairs Committee in October and has 115 bipartisan cosponsors.
“We must work to ensure girls in every country are able to stay in school so we can empower them in order to reduce poverty and create safer, healthier communities,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said.