Why the Keeping Girls in School Act is Necessary

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SEATTLE, Washington — Access to education is incredibly important to a person’s life since. With education, people are able to thrive economically, broaden their horizons and open up new opportunities that they may not otherwise have. Not everyone receives this opportunity though. Around the globe, girls are held back from obtaining an education that would allow them to progress or have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Due to the disadvantage girls suffer in some countries, the United States has proposed the Keeping Girls in School Act. This Act would fund and protect a young girl’s or woman’s right to an education.

The Keeping Girls in School Act

The bill is meant to “support empowerment, economic security, and educational opportunities for adolescent girls around the world and for other purposes.” It is a bipartisan bill, sponsored by democrats and republicans in the House and Senate. It was introduced by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) among others. Since then, two other senators have co-sponsored the bill along with 26 other representatives.

The Keeping Girls in School Act focuses solely on education for girls and ensures that girls around the world have an opportunity to receive one.The bill works hand-in-hand with other initiatives, such as the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls and the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act in 2018. With these initiatives, government and non-government agencies can work to improve the lives of young girls around the world. They can give them ample opportunities to excel regarding education, livelihood and the workforce.

The passage of this Act is incredibly important because it would ease some of the obstacles that stand in the way of a girl’s education compared to a boy’s education. Upon the introduction of the bill, statistics stated that nearly 130 million girls ages six to 17 had to leave school or could not receive an education. Almost 15 million girls would never experience a classroom setting at all.

Factors that Keep Girls Out of School

One of the biggest factors that prevent girls from receiving an education is child marriage. Once a young girl marries, she is unable to attend school because people expect her to start a family. Child marriages hurt the economy as well. By eliminating child marriages, governments would be able to preserve their education budgets by more than 5 percent. This would allow more funding to go to the schools while reducing the need for overseas funding by at least 6 percent. Not to mention, earnings would increase to $15 to $30 trillion across the globe if girls received 12 years of free and safe education.

By supporting the Keeping Girls in School Act and allowing the U.S. to help foreign countries fund girls’ education, the economies of those countries improve as well. Girls who attend school are at least 5 percent less likely to become child brides. They also have a higher chance of improving the economy because educated people are more able to give back to the economy and offer better support for their families. Research has found that women who had primary education earned 14 to 19 percent more than women who had no education. This number doubled for women who had secondary education and tripled for those with a college degree. Research also found that women with college degrees or high school diplomas had better living conditions and more job opportunities than those without.

The Keeping Girls in School Act would help ensure that girls around the world are able to access an education that would not only better their way of life but also their country’s economy. Every individual, regardless of race, class or gender, should receive an opportunity to obtain an education. Girls’ education is a priority in the eyes of the United States. The passage of this bill crucial to the lives of young women and girls around the globe.

– Sydney Toy
Photo: Flickr

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