Women’s Rights


Violence Against Women

Every year, violence devastates the lives of millions of women and girls worldwide. One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime—with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic and a human rights violation occurring daily, ranging from harmful practices such as rape, “honor killings”, female genital cutting, and human trafficking. Violence against women destabilizes countries, impedes economic progress, and prevents women from contributing to their community and creating better lives for themselves and their families.

Group 11 supports AIUSA’s campaign for prevention of violence against women by promoting the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) in the US Congress. I-VAWA makes ending violence against women and girls a top U.S. diplomatic and foreign assistance priority by codifying, implementing, and giving congressional oversight to the ongoing U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally. It requires federal agencies engaged in foreign assistance to coordinate with one another and undertake measurable steps to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV).

In 2014, the I-VAWA would ensure that the U.S. government implements the Strategy to reduce violence against women and girls in at least 5 countries where it is severe. The bill supports measures to prevent violence, protect survivors, and bring perpetrators to justice. It contains best practice provisions for preventing and responding to violence against women during times of peace and times of conflict. The legislation was developed by Amnesty International USA, Futures Without Violence, and Women Thrive Worldwide, with input from more than 40 international and 150 U.S. based groups with relevant expertise. The bill was introduced during the 110th, 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky reintroduced a bipartisan I-VAWA, H.R. 3571, in November 2013 with Reps. Eliot Engel, Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna, Nita Lowey, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz joining her as original sponsors. Senator Barbara Boxer reintroduced the same bipartisan bill in the Senate, S. 2307, in May 2014 with Senators Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, Robert Menendez and Jeanne Shaheen joining her as original sponsors.

Contact your U.S. Representatives or US Senator and ask him/her to cosponsor I-VAWA. U.S. Representatives should cosponsor IVAWA (H.R. 3571); U.S. Senators should cosponsor IVAWA (S. 2307). Find contact information for your Senator or Representative at: http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/Legislative.shtml

AIUSA’s website provides supportive information and materials for the I-VAWA campaign.

Human rights activists especially interested in women’s rights issues are welcome to join us in our monthly meetings and support our efforts.