The International Women’s Health Coalition applauds today’s introduction of the Keeping Girls in School Act by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
More than 130 million girls are out of school around the world. The Keeping Girls in School Act addresses the global girls’ education crisis, recognizing the inadequate investments governments have made in girls’ education thus far and the barriers girls continue to face, including gender inequality, child marriage, and early pregnancy. In particular, the bill creates a fund to ensure that girls can enter and complete secondary school.
The bill also requires the United States to have a comprehensive plan, such as the US Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, which IWHC and our partners in Girls Not Brides USA helped develop. The Strategy commits the US government to implement policies and programs that address all aspects of girls’ lives, from their schooling to their sexual and reproductive health, from their economic empowerment to their ability to make decisions about whether and when to marry.
“The current Administration has not demonstrated any commitment to improving the prospects of girls worldwide. I am thankful for champions like Senator Shaheen, who are working to ensure the US makes secondary education for girls a priority and invests in programs and solutions that work,” said Françoise Girard, President of IWHC. “This bill presents a crucial opportunity to make important gains on girls’ education, which is vital to their futures.”
The International Women’s Health Coalition joins Girls Not Brides USA, of which it is a co-chair, as supporters of the bill. Girls Not Brides USA has been working for nearly a decade to strengthen the US Government’s involvement in ending child marriage globally.
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Photo: Kelley Lynch / Global Partnership for Education.