Can you imagine not being able to go to school, vote, work, have a passport or access healthcare? Globally, 290 million children do not officially exist simply because they lack a piece of paper: their birth certificate. This means that as a girl grows up it will be difficult, if not impossible, for her to attend school or get a job in the formal business sector. She will not be able to own her own or inherit land, start her own business, or vote. She will likely be confined to the home and left unpaid – an invisible member of society.
The Girls Count Act will make getting girls (and boys) a birth certificate a priority of U.S. foreign policy. Through this legislation, the U.S. will work directly with organizations like the United Nations, non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, and others to help ensure all children are registered and everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
Good news: On November 19, 2014, the Girls Count Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
Bad news: The bill is stalling in the Senate.
We don’t have much time. There are only a few weeks left before Congress is done for the year. Help make sure that every girl, like Josephine pictured above, gets a birth certificate. Raise your voice in support of the Girls Count Act.
Support the Girls Count Act
There are 290 million children worldwide who do not have birth certificates. In 2012 alone, 4 out of every 10 births went unregistered. Lack of documentation can prevent girls and women from officially participating in and benefiting from formal economic, legal and political systems in their countries. This means that it will be difficult if not impossible for them to access education, health and social services, and employment later in life.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]