Approximately one out of every three women globally has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime but imagine a world without violence against women. Finally, after decades of silence and inaction, there is one bill that will bolster US efforts to end violence against women across the globe:
The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA)
Violence against women is a major cause of poverty and a huge barrier to economic opportunity. In addition to being an extreme human rights violation, it keeps women from getting an education, working, and earning the income they need to lift their families out of poverty.
The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), if passed, would consistently incorporate solutions for reducing violence against women into U.S. foreign assistance programs.
Contact your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the International Violence Against Women Act.
Violence against women is a cause of poverty and a huge barrier to women's economic opportunity - it can keep women from getting an education, working, and earning the income they need to lift their families out of poverty. Moreover, research has shown that giving women in poor countries economic opportunity empowers them to escape and prevent violent situations. In Kerala, India, for example, a study showed that only 7 percent of women who owned property suffered from physical violence, compared to 49 percent of women with no property. The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that one in three women around the world will be beaten or abused in her lifetime. If the U.S. wants its efforts to reduce poverty to be as effective as possible, this has got to stop.
By promoting women's economic opportunity, addressing violence against girls in school, encouraging legal reform, working to change public attitudes, and supporting health programs and survivor services, especially in crisis situations, the IVAWA could have a huge impact on improving the effectiveness of our foreign assistance programs and reducing poverty.
Women in poor countries already face enough barriers to lifting their families out of poverty. Violence should not be one of them. Please join us in supporting women's opportunity worldwide by supporting the International Violence Against Women Act.