BEC Statement: Keeping Girls in School Act

The Basic Education Coalition applauds Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for announcing the bipartisan introduction of the Keeping Girls in School Act today in both Chambers of Congress.

The Coalition is also grateful to Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX), Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA), Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL), and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) 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. 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 that the strategy 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 U.S.-based organizations and academic institutions working together to promote global peace and prosperity through education.