On Sunday, November 14, the Advocacy Action Committee will be in the courtyard, (or on the porch in front of the Nativity Hall if it rains), with letters asking our members of Congress to support the Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R. 4134/S.2276) . This bipartisan bill calls on our government to continue investments in quality and equitable education, and promotes girls’ empowerment and economic security around the world.
According to a report by the World Bank, fewer that two thirds of girls complete primary education in low-income countries, and only one in three completes lower secondary school. The United Nations estimates that 130 million girls ages 6 to 17 were out of school before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent assessments show that 11 million more girls will not return to school due to the pandemic.
Even though decades ago the international community recognized that everyone has the right to education, girls in low-income countries continue to face many barriers including poverty, gender-based violence, child marriage, early pregnancy, and conflict. Education lays a foundation not only for the girls and their families, but for their communities as well. Educated girls realize higher wages and greater upward mobility, thus contributing to economic growth. Education also shores up resilience and equips girls and women to face the impacts of climate change. They can be more effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water. They have greater capacity to cope with shocks from natural disasters and extreme weather events.
Today, there are economic, cultural, and safety-related barriers that impede 62 million girls around the world from realizing their right to education. Passing these bills will continue current strategies to change that. Help us ask our senators and representatives to support this bill.