On Thursday November 21, Representative Jan Schakowsky will introduce the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which would dramatically increase U.S. action to to combat gender-based violence around the world.
Following is a statement from Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder and President of Women Thrive Worldwide, about the importance of passing IVAWA now:
“It’s a sad fact that we live in a world where, in some countries, nearly 70 percent of women experience violence at some point in their lives. Violence against women and girls is the biggest human rights challenge of our time.
“The women and girls of the world can’t afford to wait. Congress needs to pass the International Violence Against Women Act Now.”
“Even when it doesn’t lead to death – which happens far too often in dowry deaths, bride burnings, and other honor killings – gender-based violence leaves lasting physical and emotional scars that hobble the potential of women.
“Violence against women and girls can seem intractable, but women and men around the globe are making real gains in reducing gender-based violence in their communities.
“The International Violence Against Women Act is a major step in the right direction. This bill would put the full might of the U.S. government behind strategies that work to keep women and girls safe from sexual assault, harassment, domestic abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence.
“Almost every day, I hear from local advocates from Honduras to Afghanistan to Cameroon about the desperate need for more resources to reduce violence against women and girls.
“The world’s women and girls need IVAWA to pass. They deserve for IVAWA to pass. We are energized and ready to make it happen.”