U.S. Representatives David Trone, Cathy McMorris Rodgers Introduce Bipartisan Girls Leadership, Engagement, Agency, and Development (LEAD) Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives David Trone (D-MD) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced the bipartisan Girls Leadership, Engagement, and Development (LEAD) Act to promote girls’ leadership and participation in civic and political processes through U.S. foreign assistance.

This is the first piece of legislation the duo is leading together following Rep. Trone’s trip to Washington state to visit Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s district through the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Congressional Exchange Program (ACE) last fall.

“When women engage, democracies are stronger, foreign aid is more effective, and the world is safer. A truly representative government relies on the voices of all its citizens, no matter their background or walk of life,” said McMorris Rodgers. “The bipartisan Girls LEAD Act highlights the importance of engaging girls in civics and public service. This will help build a stronger pipeline for young women to run for political office and encourage them to seek leadership positions in the private sector. With more women empowered, it will support a new generation of transformational leaders in democracies around the world.”

“When women are in leadership positions around the world, we are better for it. We see the best example of this in the women leading democracies across the globe who have taken swift and decisive action in response to the coronavirus,” said Trone. “This bipartisan bill prioritizes investment in girls’ interaction with civic systems at an early age, creating a strong pipeline for girls to become leaders and decision-makers for years to come.”

The Girls LEAD Act would require the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to:

  • Develop a united, comprehensive strategy on strengthening the participation of, in particular, adolescent girls in democracy, human rights, and governance;
  • Prioritize foreign assistance funding made available for democracy, human rights and governance programs in accordance with this act; and
  • Provide joint annual reporting to Congress on progress made by U.S. government agencies in support of this policy.

This bill is a companion to S.2766, introduced in the Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). It has been endorsed by several organizations, including Save the Children and ChildFund International, Vital Voices, The Hunger Project, National Association Social Workers, Oxfam America, Girl Determined, GirlForward, International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law, CARE USA, Church World Service, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Feed the Children.

You can read more about the legislation here.

You can read the entire bill text here.

# # #

Recent Posts

Jun 4, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Announces 2024 Congressional Art Competition Winner: Hawwi Jebena from Spokane

Washington, D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) announced Hawwi Jebena as the winner of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition from Washington’s Fifth Congressional District.  WINNER: “Manito Park” by Hawwi Jebena Hawwi Jebena’s acrylic painting, “Manito Park,” is the winner of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for Eastern Washington. Hawwi attends Gonzaga […]

May 23, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Leads Subcommittee Markup of 3 Legislative Proposals to Protect Data Privacy and AM Radios

Washington D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) is leading the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee markup of three legislative proposals, including: She also delivered the following opening remarks as prepared for delivery: “Our personal identity is at the very core of what makes us human.   “It drives us to achieve the […]

May 22, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Opening Remarks at Legislative Hearing on Sunsetting Section 230

Washington D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing titled “Legislative Proposal to Sunset Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.” “Ranking Member Pallone and I recently unveiled bipartisan draft legislation to sunset Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. As written, […]