This past week, several members of Congress re-introduced the International Violence Against Women Act, a bill designed to support international programs to end violence against women. From an article on Politico.com, co-written by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA), as well as Larry Cox and Kerry Kennedy (from Amnesty International USA):
"IVAWA will support innovative programs that challenge public attitudes and cultural practices that perpetuate and condone violence against women and girls. In settings where women are prevented or discouraged from seeking justice, IVAWA will support training for police and judicial officials on countering violence against women and respecting the rights of victims. It will allow long-term prevention efforts such as increasing women’s economic security, expanding access to jobs and education, and engaging men to change behaviors and attitudes. Societies in which women are able to live and function in relative safety, empowered to realize their aspirations and move their communities forward are healthier, better developed, and more stable. Societies that take measures to deter discrimination and violence against women are better equipped to root out terrorism, less prone to conflict, and therefore more secure."
Yeah! This is a pretty exciting bill, as it's really the first effort to make international women's issues a priority in the United States. While I'm kind of unsure as to why it was never voted on when it was first introduced last year, it's good to know that it's getting a lot more media coverage this time around.
To sign a petition encouraging Congress to support this bill, click here.
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