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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Bill to Protect Women and Girls Around the World

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled to mark up the IVAWA - the International Violence Against Women Act - a bill to identify and address the increasing acts of violence both domestically and as political tools around the world.  This meeting has since been canceled.  Read the article below and then read Gail's thoughts on this bill and its current status.
I never met my grandmother. She was burned alive with kerosene doused on her sari and lit on fire. Some think it was suicide, some think it was a dowry murder since her mother-in-law was not pleased with what my grandmother brought into her new husband’s family. She had four children; one of them my mother, the other my uncle, who was just a few months old when she was killed. I cannot imagine her shock, grief and pain in the moments before she died. It makes me sick to even think about it.

Regrettably, her story is not uncommon. Consider the young couple whom the Taliban stoned to death for adultery and the young Afghani woman whose nose and ears were cut off because she tried to escape an unbearably abusive husband and his family—it happens every day.

We all read those stories, cringe at the grotesque pictures and then feel that empty pit in our stomachs because we think there’s nothing we can do. But finally that could change.

Five years ago, Women Thrive Worldwide partnered with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Amnesty International USA to find out what our country could do to meaningfully help women stop violence in their lives. We interviewed over forty women’s groups in poor developing countries and consulted more than 100 experts and organizations working in the field. The result is IVAWA, the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4954/S. 2982), introduced into the Congress by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). It was introduced into the House by Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Ted Poe (R-Texas).
Read more at Fox News

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