May Advocacy Update

Women in Bangladesh. Photo: © Amio Ascension/World Vision

Women in Bangladesh.
Photo: © Amio Ascension/World Vision

In April, we posted the first in a new series for the Women of Vision blog– monthly updates from World Vision advocacy. In this series, we provide updates on current legislation that people, including Women of Vision, have been advocating for as well as answer questions. If you have questions you would like to see answered here, please email them to by the 15th of each month.

The Water for the World Act

The Water for the World Act currently has 82 cosponsors! This is more than double the amount of cosponsors on the bill before the World Vision H2O:DC conference in March. We know that World Vision advocates met with, called, or sent postcards to at least 29 of these cosponsors and many more have received emails. We want this bill to move through the Foreign Affairs committee and be brought to the floor for a vote as soon as possible. Tomorrow, Friday May 23, 2014 World Vision advocacy and Women of Vision will be hosting a call about what you can do to turn this bill into a law! Topics will include writing op-ed pieces and coordinating meetings with you members of Congress. Please join us!

Date: Friday May 23rd
Time: 9am PT/12pm ET
Call-in Details: 1-888-669-2803
Passcode: 9595862

On the call we will direct you to resources. Here are some that may be helpful to look at in advance-

Water facts
Talking Points & FAQ’s about the Water for the World Act
A guide to meeting with your member of Congress

What you can do:
– Join our call on Friday, June 23rd at 9am PDT/12pm EDT.
Send emails to your members of Congress asking them to cosponsor the Water for the World Act.
Call your Representative.
– If you are interested in writing an op-ed piece about the Water for the World Act, email
See if your Representative has cosponsored the Water for the World Act.

The Girls Count Act

We have a new goal for the Girls Count Act! We would like to have 50 total cosponsors, which means 30 new cosponsors, by the end of August.

Millions of children remain invisible to their government, unable to fully participate in their communities. They are denied education and health services, and are at risk of exploitation, violence, abuse, and underage recruitment into armed forces, all because they do not have a simple piece of paper we take for granted — a birth certificate.

The Girls Count Act elevates birth registration in U.S. foreign policy and assistance. It authorizes the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support programs that promote sustainable registration systems and ensure children are able to access social services. The Act does not allocate new spending, but requires diligence to ensure that the simple and foundational step of birth registration is not overlooked.

What you can do:
– Call your Representative and voice your support for the Girls Count Act.
– Schedule an in-district meeting with your member of Congress, using the talking points provided here. When you schedule a meeting, email to share the date, who you are meeting with, and any needed follow-up.

Recently Asked Questions
I heard about the Global Moms Act, could you tell me more about this bill?
The Global Moms Act is a bill focused on maternal and child health. Since the bill has not been introduced, we cannot speak specifically to what the bill will include. Based on the version introduced in 2010, that did not get voted on, the bill would expand access and improve the quality of essential evidence-based health services for women that would not only save their lives, but also the lives of their babies. This would include health screenings, improved access to trained health workers, and post-partum care, and assistance in timing and planning pregnancies. The legislation would also require the President develop a strategy as a part of the United States’ Global Health Initiative to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal & newborn health. And the bill would encourage better coordination among federal agencies administering health programs to ensure that funding is spent efficiently and effectively.

When the bill is introduced we will look at the full content and determine the best advocacy strategy going forward.

I am heartbroken about the horrible abductions of schoolgirls in Nigeria. How does this connect to the Girls Count Act and what can we do?
The abductions of the schoolgirls in Nigeria are a tragic reminder that there are vulnerable children all over the world. The case in Nigeria is multi-faceted, but in general, we know that traffickers more often prey on those who will not be missed- unregistered children.

Because World Vision does not have programs in Nigeria, we don’t feel that we can responsibly speak to the incident. Many organizations are more familiar with the situation and we encourage you to look to them for news and updates.

This situation is one of many around the world that reminds us why bills such as the Girls Count Act are so important.

Is there any news about Senate versions of the HR 2901, the Water for the World Act or HR 3398, the Girls Count Act?
We do not have any new information on Senate versions of these bills. We do know that the Water for the World Act has passed in the Senate twice, so it has the potential to move quickly when it passes through the House.

For the Girls Count Act, we are optimistic that if we meet our goal of 50 cosponsors by the end of August, there is a good chance that the Senate will act and introduce a Senate version of the bill.

**Reminder: When you call your member of Congress using the links provided, be sure to log your call! This is our only way of knowing what calls have been made. Without these logs, we do not know who to follow up with or what follow-up is needed. Thank you!

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