Why the Girls Count Act matters: U.S. teens push forward a law for girls worldwide

 by
Advocacy , Birth Registration , Supporters in Action

A few months ago at a college interview panel, a Human Rights professor asked me, “What do you think is the most important issue facing women and girls in developing countries today?”

I knew what the answer was supposed to be: access to education. It’s always education. Educated girls get married later and raise fewer, similarly educated children, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty and discrimination. But with this in mind, I answered, “birth registration.” Because before girls can go to school, their existence needs to be recognized by their governments.

According to UNICEF, worldwide one in three children under the age of five aren’t registered at birth, and many of them are girls. Without birth certificates, they don’t have a legal identity, rights, or protections. Those who legally don’t exist are more vulnerable to child labor practices, human trafficking, and abuse.

That’s where the Girls Count Act comes in…

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