08 March 2010

On International Women's Day, call for sponsorship and passage of I-VAWA

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day.

As UN Secretary General Ban K-moon noted last November, "Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us -- men and boys -- refuse to tolerate it."

But too many today are tolerating it. As Amnesty International (AI) reports, the statistics are shocking and totally unacceptable:
"One out of every three women worldwide has been physically or sexually abused during her lifetime with rates of domestic violence reaching 70 percent in some countries. Violence committed predominantly against women ranges from rape to domestic violence and acid burnings to dowry deaths and so-called honor killings. Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, a public health epidemic, and a barrier to solving global challenges like desperate poverty, HIV/AIDS, and conflict. Violence and abuse devastates the lives of millions of women, knows no national or cultural barriers, and most importantly, it must be stopped."

As AI stated in its blog Human Rights Now, "Real men are not afraid of women’s empowerment!" But then, most violence is ultimately rooted in fear, isn't it?!

The International Violence Against Women's Act (I-VAWA) aims to address the issue of violence against women on a global level.

According to AI:
"The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) is the first comprehensive piece of legislation in the United States aimed at ending violence against women and girls around the world. It would improve our government’s response when women are victims of sex trafficking and rape during war and would provide aid to women’s groups on the ground working to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence. It would focus resources on prevention and ensure that dollars are used in the most effective ways possible. In some countries, it truly could mean the difference between life and death for a woman or girl."
I-VAWA was introduced last year in the 110th Congress, but never came to a vote. Fortunately, on February 4, 2010, it was reintroduced in the 111th Congress by bipartisan teams in both the House and the Senate. Hopefully it will get farther this time.

How you can help:

>> Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor I-VAWA today.

Get more info:

>> Summary Flyer (PDF)

>> Issue Brief (PDF)

>> I-VAWA Model Programs

>> Q&A: Basic I-VAWA

>> Q&A: Legislation

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