Conflict tears apart the social fabric of communities around the world. For women, the dangers of war go far beyond the violence of combat. In places where a woman is already at risk of dying during her pregnancy, a health system eroded by war can become a death sentence.
Investing in women and girls is wise if we are to build a safer, better, more peaceful world. As the U.S. international affairs budget faces deep cuts, investment in women and girls is in peril.
Tell your Members of Congress that international programs are critical to protect and empower women and girls around the world. Tell them not to cut the international affairs budget.
With our help, women and girls can be agents of change. In areas devastated by war, women are the key to rebuilding lives and fostering peaceful communities. A woman who is given a chance will invest 90% of her income into efforts that keep her family and children healthy, safe and going to school. When a woman has the resources, she lifts up everyone around her.
As a supporter of the International Rescue Committee, I know that when given the opportunity, women and girls can play a decisive role in lifting their families out of poverty and reconstructing their communities. They can serve as agents of peace, reconciliation, development, growth and stability. They represent a high return investment on US taxpayer dollars, and can contribute to building a safer world for all of us.
For decades, diplomats and development experts failed to consult with women or take the needs of women and girls into account in pushing for peace and rebuilding societies. For years, US international programs have been run on shoe-string budgets. We are on the cusp of a new era in how the United States engages abroad, including an emphasis on smart power and an investment in women and girls as agents of change. I urge you to support the International Affairs budget; Women and girls around the world count on it.