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**Senators Introduced the ‘International Violence Against Women Act’ Early Last Year**

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), both senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by urging action on the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), legislation they introduced last year along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The bill would make a reduction in violence against women and girls worldwide a top foreign policy priority of the United States.

Senator Boxer has long been a champion in the fight for women’s rights, and helped to pass the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994. Senator Shaheen has promised to continue to lead efforts to pass theInternational Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) when Senator Boxer leaves office early next year.

"1 in 3 women around the world will experience gender-based violence, a shocking statistic in our modern age, and as a global leader, the U.S. must continue to advocate for steps to combat violence against women,” said Senator Shaheen. “This systemic violence affects more than just women – it impacts children, communities and the global economy. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it best: ‘The world cannot afford to pay this price.’ Our world will be stronger and more prosperous when women live free from gender-based violence. I thank Senator Boxer for her leadership on the IVAWA and I am very proud to take the torch in the next Congress."

“Across the world, far too many women and girls face horrific violence and discrimination,” Senator Boxer said. “We must ensure that ending gender-based violence and discrimination worldwide remains a top priority of the United States, and make clear our commitment to a comprehensive strategy to promote the safety and rights of women and girls across the globe.”

Specifically, the International Violence Against Women Act would:

  • Require the development and implementation of a 5-year U.S. global strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. The strategy will identify five to 20 eligible low and lower-middle income countries for which comprehensive individual country plans will be developed.
  • Authorize U.S. assistance to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls internationally, with at least 10 percent of the assistance provided to nongovernmental organizations or faith-based organizations—with priority given to those led by women. 
  • Require interagency coordination, monitoring and evaluation of programs and regular briefings to Congress.
  • Codify in law the existing Office of Global Women’s Issues within the State Department and the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. 
  • Codify in law the existing Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Nearly 300 humanitarian, faith-based, human rights, refugee and women’s organizations voiced their support for the International Violence Against Women Act, including: Amnesty International USA, American Jewish World Service, CARE USA, the Episcopal Church, Futures Without Violence, Human Rights Watch, International Justice Mission, Jewish Women International, the International Center for Research on Women, the International Rescue Committee, MenEngage, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Refugees International, the National Council of Churches USA, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Women's Refugee Commission, and Women Thrive Worldwide.