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Girls in school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Vicki Francis/Department for International Development / Flickr
AdvocacyEducation

The US House Just Passed an Important Bill to Educate Millions of Girls Worldwide


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Many children do not have the opportunity to learn, but girls are disproportionately left out of school. The UN’s Global Goal 4 for education states that all girls and boys must have access to quality primary and secondary education to end extreme poverty by 2030. You can join us and take action on this issue here

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). 

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. 

Read More: This Important Bill for Girls' Education Received Bipartisan Support on the Global Citizen Stage

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. 

The bill then passed unanimously through the House Foreign Affairs Committee in October and has 115 bipartisan cosponsors.

Actress and Global Citizen Ambassador Rachel Brosnahan and actress Sofia Carson have also shown public support for the act. 

“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.