ICRW has supported the Keeping Girls in School Act of 2019 since it was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate in April. Since that time, it has gained the support of 42 members of the House of Representatives — a solidly bipartisan effort and strong statement for the 130 million girls globally who should be in school, but are not. Investing in what is necessary to overcome the barriers keeping girls from quality education, particularly at the secondary level, is not only the right thing to do, it’s a smart investment. We are proud to be one of sixty organizations urging the House Foreign Affairs Committee to markup the legislation and pass it out of committee. As the statement notes, girls’ education is the foundation upon which girls can grow to become empowered women—economically or otherwise—and has the potential to add $92 billion to the economies of low- and middle-income nations, cut child deaths by 50%, reduce child marriage by 66%, and decrease violent conflict by 37%. ICRW evidence also shows that investments in quality education are one of the best ways to reduce child marriage rates. Countries like Ethiopia, which has high rates of child marriage, could reduce their reliance on overseas development assistance by a sixth if they were able to keep girls in school and end child marriage.
Read the full letter to the Committee.