BEC Statement: Keeping Girls in School Act, H.R. 7055

The Basic Education Coalition applauds Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) for announcing the introduction of the Keeping Girls in School Act in the House of Representatives today on the International Day of the Girl. The Coalition is also grateful to Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) for their support as original cosponsors of this legislation.

Gender gaps in educational attainment persist in many countries, and millions of adolescent girls around the world who live in poverty lack the necessary support to access a quality education. Globally, over 130 million girls are not in school and sadly far too many will never enter a classroom.

Education programs should aim to achieve equality at the local and systemic levels, so that all children—regardless of their gender—realize their full potential and graduate ready to lead their nations towards economic and social stability. The economic benefits of girls’ education are substantial, especially at the post-primary levels. For every year beyond fourth grade that girls go to school, studies show that their wages increase by as much as 20%.

The Keeping Girls in School Act will help adolescent girls remain and succeed in secondary school. International education programs authorized under this Act will prioritize delivering tangible results and improvements in the lives of adolescent girls by addressing the specific barriers that adolescent girls face in continuing their education.

The Keeping Girls in School Act also codifies the United States Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls into law and requires the strategy to be updated every five years. The Basic Education Coalition looks forward to working with Congress and the more than 50 supporting nongovernmental organizations to ensure that this important piece of legislation becomes law.

The Basic Education Coalition is a group of leading US-based organizations and academic institutions working together to promote global peace and prosperity through education.