Why Advocate?

You were born to be heard. And together, when we raise our voices, we can make real change for girls. The actions you take can influence your elected officials and help change public policy so that girls everywhere can have a brighter future. Girl Up believes evey girl in every country can be an advocate for women's empowerment and gender equality. 

Advocacy is taking action to bring about political or social change. There are many different ways to advocate — in your local community, at a national level, and even globally. Keep reading to learn how YOU can be an effective advocate!

To learn about more ways you can advocate on the go - check out our GIrl Up Advocacy App!

Our Priorities

Girl Up is currently focused on two critical policy issues:

Improving access to education for refugee girls

                     House: Protecting Girls' Access to Education Act (H.R.2408)
                     Senate: Protecting Girls' Access to Education Act (S.1580) 
Progress - H.R.2408 passed the House and now we are waiting for it to pass the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before it can go to the Senate floor for a vote.
Update - The READ Act has been signed into law!!  Send a thank you to your members of Congress - check out our template letter!

Creating safe spaces for women and girls

                     Resources - Check out the 'Safe Spaces' Power Point to the right of this in the 'Resource' box or click the link above to learn more about safe spaces and how to advocate for them. Also, sign this petition to ensure women are staying safe by being documented at birth. 

Our Goals

In order to achieve these priorities, we are working to ensure that Congress passes H.R.2408, the Protecting Girls' Access to Education Act (S.1580 in the Senate). Learn more about H.R.2408 and read the entire bill text here.

For H.R.2408 and S.1580, we're measuring our progress by the number of cosponsors for the bill. Our goal is to have 50 bipartisan cosponsors in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The following members of Congress are currently cosponsors:

House of Representatives (50 cosponsors)
Steve Chabot (R-OH1)                            Judy Chu (D-CA27)                          
Robin Kelly (D-IL2)                                  Daniel Donovan (R-NY11)                
Susan Brooks (R-IN5)                             Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16)                  
Larry Bucschon (R-IN8)                          Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL8)
Gerald Connolly (D-VA11)                      Seth Moulton (D-MA6)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH9)                           Donald Payne (D-NJ10)
Brian Mast (R-FL18)                              Scott Peters (D-CA52)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27)               Ed Royce (R-CA39)
Nydia Velázquez (D-NY7)                      Niki Tsongas (D-MA3)
Jamie Raskin (D-MD8)                          Peter Visclosky (D-IN1)
Kathy Castor (D-FL14)                          Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ12)
Paul Cook (R-CA8)                               Joe Wilson (R-SC2)
Beto O’Rourke (D-TX16)                       Anna Eshoo (D-CA18)
Ted Lieu (D-CA33)                                Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19)
Barbara Comstock (R-VA10)                David Scott (D-GA13)
Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR0)       Lois Frankel (D-FL21)
Brad Sherman (D-CA30)                      Mark Desaulnier (D-CA11)
John Sarbanes (D-MD3)                      John Delaney (D-MD6)
Mike Coffman (R-CO6)                        Joyce Beatty (D-OH3)
Val Demings (D-FL10)                         Joseph Kennedy (D-MA)
Brendan Boyle (PA13)                        Alcee Hasting (D-FL20)
Katherine Clark (D-MA5)                      Barbara Lee (D-CA13)
Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY18)         Alan Lowenthal (D-CA47)
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA07)                 Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC0)
Derek Kilmer (D-WA06)

Senate (9 cosponsors)
Marco Rubio (R-FL) - original sponsor        Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Robert Menéndez (D-NJ)                            Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)                                   Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)                            Susan Collins (R-ME)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)                               Jack Reed (D-RI)
Edward Markey (D-MA)
Christopher Coons (D-DE)
John Boozman (R-AR)

If your member of Congress is already a cosponsor, write a letter or call their office to say thank you! If your rep isn't yet a cosponsor, then now is th

Upcoming Advocacy Activities

Recent Advocacy Posts

Join the Advocacy Challenge!

This Challenge is open to all Clubs in every country! This February and March, Girl Up challenges YOU and your Girl Up Club to think about what a safe space looks like in your community and how to start creating one. In the toolkit you will learn how to create an advocacy plan for your safe space, along with resources, such as a Power Point and worksheet,...
Posted by Kirsten Elizabeth Foster in Girl Up News Feb 21, 2018 2:35 pm EST

H.R. 2408 Passed the House!

Yay, you did it! You helped get H.R. 2408, ‘Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act’, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives! Thanks to your tireless advocacy outreach to your representatives, they passed the bill unanimously through the House. That simply means that all representatives agreed on the bill, which is...
Posted by Kirsten Elizabeth Foster in Girl Up News Oct 4, 2017 10:29 am EDT

In-District Meetings: Tricks & Tips

c97b70874f990c3942220253e66777b2-huge-il For those who have never had an in-district meeting with their members of Congress, trying to set one up can seem scary or intimidating, but with a little a patience and practice in-district meetings can be the most effective way to get your members of Congress to support your cause. Hopefully, by reading my tips and tricks you’ll feel more comfortable...
Posted by Kirsten Elizabeth Foster in Girl Up News Aug 10, 2017 10:16 am EDT

Advocacy August

a8c0af4932c476b3e2dac9381df376b4-huge-gi It is Advocacy August, and we are excited to share a blog post with you from one of our awesome Teen Advisors, Angie Jiang, about ways she will be advocating this August:
“Hey Girls! I'm Angela (Angie) Jiang and I'm a current...
Posted by Kirsten Elizabeth Foster in Girl Up News Aug 1, 2017 10:12 am EDT

U.S. Senate Introduced Legislation To Support Refugee Girls' Education On Thursday!

Click here to read more about the incredible impact you had on elected officials through your lobbying last week! 

TWEET: After successful lobby day, @GirlUp welcomes the introduction of legislation to support education for refugee girls...
Posted by BaileyGirlUp in Girl Up News Jul 24, 2017 10:13 am EDT

Who Are The Girls And Women Impacted By Cuts On U.S. Foreign Aid?

You've heard it all over the news. The release of the administration’s 2018 budget proposal, which eliminates all U.S. funding for international family planning and reproductive health, is important. Girl Up works to ensure all girls are healthy so they can go to school, decide when they want to get married and when they want to have children...
Posted by Rocio in Girl Up News Jun 13, 2017 11:28 am EDT

Good News For Foreign Aid!

d6a41de4394030bfad7bc9c556c47674-huge-po Great news! Thanks to your advocacy efforts, the foreign affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (the fiscal year ends September 30, 2017) has been fully funded. This includes full funding for...
Posted by Rocio in Girl Up News May 9, 2017 1:36 pm EDT

Statement From Girl Up Director Melissa Kilby On Elimination Of U.S. Funds For UNFPA


I was deeply saddened by the announcement that the U.S. Government is eliminating U.S. funds for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  UNFPA has been one of Girl Up’s key implementing partners since our founding. We work closely with UNFPA in four of our six impact countries to make sure that the hardest to reach girls have a chance...

Posted by Rocio in Girl Up News Apr 4, 2017 10:33 am EDT

What You Need To Know About The U.S. Budget

181d9c001079ca586b116fa4ee473ad8-huge-bu Last Thursday, the White House released a budget proposal that calls for crippling funding cuts that would undermine the United Nations' work and be devestating for girls and women around the world. If passed by the U.S. Congress, the UN and its lifesaving agencies could see massive cuts that would put lives at risk - especially girls. ...
Posted by Julie Willig in Girl Up News Mar 19, 2017 7:10 pm EDT

Global Gag Rule 101


Within his first two days in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing a harsh policy commonly known as the The Global Gag Rule that restricts...
Posted by Chelsea in Girl Up News Mar 3, 2017 11:34 am EST

Opinion: President Trump's Recent Executive Order

f4b6be7ec5b7eb1edb1e6fcdb7af4e80-huge-am By Faatimah Solomon, Teen Advisor 16-17

On January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that suspended the refugee program and imposed travel restrictions on several countries. The exective order suspends the refugee program for 120 days, bans...
Posted by Chelsea in Girl Up News Feb 9, 2017 1:51 pm EST

Million Women's Voices

02306db39d0c130d3a7e71692a528549-huge-mw By Grace Wong

Politics aren’t perfect. But as fierce feminist girls and young women, now more than ever it is important we call out the imperfections of politics and fight for what we believe in. We want our newly elected officials to prioritize the issues we...
Posted by Julie Willig in Girl Up News Jan 20, 2017 10:44 am EST

Post-Election- What Now?

By Delilah Harvey, Girl Up Intern

It’s no secret that we are in the midst of some major changes in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. In times like these, it is natural to feel...
Posted by rachelw in Girl Up News Dec 5, 2016 12:19 pm EST

Advocacy Boot Camp

Want to host your own advocacy boot camp, with the help of Girl Up? Click the button below to get your Advocacy Boot Camp 101 toolkit. This toolkit will provide you with the information to get started and have a successful event. 

Chat About It