Reintroduction of I-VAWA in US Congress: Passage Would Make Ending Violence Against Women a Top Priority for U.S. Foreign Policy
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 2:10 PM

9 February 2010

Members of the U.S. House and Senate reintroduced the bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) on February 4, 2010. The bill, which was originally drafted by then-Senator Joe Biden and Senator Richard Lugar in collaboration with over 100 NGOs and women’s groups worldwide, would place violence against women at the forefront of United States’ foreign policy and foreign assistance programs. I-VAWA would establish a centralized office for women-related issues, create and fund a five-year strategy to combat domestic violence in as many as 20 low-income countries, and require training for U.S. military and police forces overseas on the prevention of violence against women and girls. By helping to stop gender-based violence and poverty and to promote economic opportunities for women, I-VAWA would play a significant role in empowering women all over the world.

"Every day, too many women and girls across the globe endure horrific acts of violence. They are disfigured by acid, raped and beaten, or they are denied the opportunity to see a doctor. This important legislation gives the United States government the tools to make international violence against women and girls a top diplomatic priority," said Senator Barbara Boxer, who also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues. (Feminist Majority Foundation)

Underlining the importance of this bill as a foreign policy tool, Senator John Kerry said: "Societies where women are safe, where women are empowered to realize their aspirations and move their communities forward – are healthier and more stable societies." (Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report)

Compiled from: International Violence Against Women Act Reintroduced in Congress,” Feminist Majority Foundation (4 February 2010); Bipartisan Legislation In House, Senate Targets Violence Against Women Worldwide, Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report (5 February 2010).