Did you know that across the world, approximately 130 million school aged girls are not enrolled in school? This goes beyond the right to education for these young women as it can lift families, communities, and countries out of poverty while decreasing deaths and violent conflict. Child marriages and child pregnancies are preventing girls from schooling and if all girls complete a secondary education, child marriage rates will be reduced by two-thirds and child deaths will be cut in half, saving three million lives. If girls and boys ages 10-19 have equal opportunity for education the likelihood of violent conflict can decrease by as much as 37 percent. Studies have also shown that girls’ wages rise by as much as 20 percent for each year beyond fourth grade that they attend school -- 12 years of free, safe, quality education can lead to an increase of $15-30 trillion globally in lifetime earnings.
The Keeping Girls in School Act empowers girls around the globe by increasing educational opportunities and economic security. Every child deserves an equal opportunity for education and in the United States we need to be a global leader in advocating for girls worldwide. The benefits of girls’ education will assist the U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping lift communities out of poverty. I urge U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner to cosponsor the Keeping Girls in School Act.
A third year student at Dickinson College.