The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is a historic and unprecedented effort by the United States to comprehensively address violence against women worldwide. Originally introduced, but not passed, in the 110th Congress (H.R. 5927/ S. 2279) it is a direct response to the startling statistics that one out of every three women will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime, with rates reaching 70% in some countries. IVAWA would direct the U.S. government to create a comprehensive, five-year strategy to reducing such violence in 10-20 diverse countries that have egregious levels of violence against women and girls. This important legislation will put the issue in its proper context as a human rights violation of epidemic proportions. In addition, it will tackle the life-threatening challenges of extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and other health risks that affect the well-being of women and girls worldwide.
On February 4th, 2010, the International Violence Against Women Act was reintroduced by bipartisan teams in both the House (H.R. 4594) and Senate (S. 2982). In the House by Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Europe and Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), Co-chair of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus and in the Senate, by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senators Boxer (D-CA), Collins (R-ME) and Snowe (R-ME).
This critical legislation would commit the United States to address rape as a weapon of war, sexual coercion, domestic violence, honor killings, dowry related deaths, female genital cutting, human trafficking, and economic conditions that can oppress women – on a global scale. Unfortunately, this groundbreaking legislation did not pass in the 111th Congress. JWI continues to work with a broad-based coalition including the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), Women Thrive Worldwide and Amnesty International USA to promote US leadership on this issue and work with Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies to develop an effective global policy on violence against women.
The High Cost of Gender-Based Violence
Haiti: The Crisis for Women Continues
Women who push for better rights in Afghanistan face systematic violence
IVAWA Coalition Press Release
Congressional Briefing Makes Human Case for Passage of International Violence Against Women Act
IVAWA Research Key Findings Memo
WFDA IVAWA Sign on Letter
Rape as a Weapon of War
Stop Violence Against Girls Going to School
We Can't Afford not to Pass IVAWA
Trafficking in Women and Girls