Girls Count Act

It seems simple: girls should count. Yet millions of girls around the world have no birth certificate or weren’t registered at birth. They are invisible members of society. The U.S. government can play a critical role in ensuring all girls are registered — their first step to success.

Wow. We did it! The Girls Count Act was just signed into law!

This legislation — passed unanimously by Congress and signed by President Obama — will help ensure children in developing countries are registered at birth. This is a huge win for the countless girls — and boys — around the world that this bill will help support.

If you agree, thank President Obama and Congress for making counting girls in developing countries a foreign policy priority.

About the Girls Count Act

Even though most countries do have birth registration laws, worldwide, 4 out of 10 births were not registered in 2012, according to UNICEF. That’s 290 million children living around the world today who are not counted. When a girl is denied a birth certificate, she is invisible to her government. Lack of documentation can prevent a girl from going to school, getting a job later in life, and accessing health and social services.

There’s a solution to make sure more girls around the world – regardless of where they are born – are counted just like everyone else: The Girls Count Act.

Learn more by reading the Girls Count bill brief.

What does the Girls Count Act do?

The Girls Count Act supports programs in developing countries that help improve birth registrations and documentation systems for all children. Through legislation, the U.S. government can play a critical role in helping all girls reach their full potential by making adolescent girls in developing countries a foreign policy priority — meaning the U.S. government devotes programs and funding to girls.

Progress with Girls Count Act

The Girls Count Act is officially law! The Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Girls Count Act (S. 802/H.R. 2100) in spring 2015, and President Obama signed the bill into law on June 12, 2015!

We have been pushing for this piece of legislation to get passed since the bill was first introduced in fall 2013. It’s been a long road, but we refused to stop until our work was done.

This is how powerful our movement is. By coming together, we put the rights and needs of girls around the world front and center. By uniting behind this bill, we’ve helped break down a significant barrier preventing girls from reaching their full potential.

To date, Girl Up has held two successful lobby days on the Girls Count Act and inspired nearly 400,000 actions asking members of Congress to support the bill.