This Father’s Day, Support the International Violence Against Women Act
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 20. On that day, leading women’s and violence prevention organizations are asking America’s fathers to honor their daughters – and women and girls all around the world – by helping to end violence and make the world safer for women everywhere.
The call for action comes from Amnesty International USA, CARE, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Global AIDS Alliance, International Center for Research on Women, Jewish Women International, Refugees International, and Women Thrive Worldwide.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. A World Health Organization study examining diverse cultural settings in ten countries found that 15 to 71 percent of women reported physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner.
There are many forms of violence against women, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner; physical or sexual abuse by family members or others; sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures (such as teachers, police officers or employers); trafficking for forced labour or sex; and practices such as forced or child marriages, dowry-related violence; and “honor” killings, when women are murdered in the name of family “honor.” Systematic sexual abuse in conflict situations is another form of violence against women.
Members of Congress including Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives William Delahunt (D-MA), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4594/S. 2982) earlier this year. It is bi-partisan, groundbreaking legislation that would – for the first time – make stopping violence against women and girls a priority in U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid.
Below is a list of seven easy things fathers can do to support the International Violence Against Women Act and help end violence against women and girls:
1. Learn more about how the International Violence Against Women Act can help create a safer world for women and children. Read more about it at www.womenthrive.org/ivawainfo, http://www.amnestyusa.org/
violence-against-women/ international-violence- against-women-act/latest- update-on-i-vawa/page.do?id= 1381035, http://www.icrw.org/what-we- do/violence-against-women/ international-violence- against-women-act, http://www.endabuse.org/ content/features/detail/1451/ or www.refugeesinternational.org/ ivawa.
2. Spread the word about the International Violence Against Women Act using social media networks. Tweet or post a message on Facebook about the need to support the bill and help end violence against women and girls around the world.
3. Urge your U.S. Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the International Violence Against Women Act. Send an email to your members of Congress at http://capwiz.com/fvpf/issues/
alert/?alertid=14591456 or http://takeaction.amnestyusa. org/siteapps/advocacy/index. aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179& template=x.ascx&action=14375. If your Member of Congress is already a co-sponsor of the bill, send a thank you note.
4. This summer, schedule a meeting with your Member of Congress and ask him or her to support the International Violence Against Women Act and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the bill.
5. Support organizations that work to end violence against women. Amnesty International USA, CARE, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Global AIDS Alliance, International Center for Research on Women, Jewish Women International, Refugees International, Women Thrive Worldwide, are all working to end worldwide violence against women and girls. Visit the above organizations’ websites to learn more.
6. Sign the CARE’s Voices Against Violence petition at http://my.care.org/site/Ecard?
ecard_id=1461 and lend your name to the effort to end human rights violations that take place every day when women are victimized by domestic violence, sexual abuse, and “honor” killings. After you sign, you can spread the word to friends and family so they can help end these atrocities. CARE will gather the signatures and deliver them to our elected officials with the message that more must and can be done to address gender-based violence.
7. Share what you learn with others. Make a pledge to speak with five people about the status of gender-based violence and help ignite a wave of awareness and action that will ultimately save the lives of women and children everywhere.