One out of three women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime, with rates as high as 70% in some countries. Violence against women is a human rights violation that devastates lives, fractures communities, and prevents women from fully contributing to the economic development of their countries. The International Violence Against Women Act, as proposed in the seeks to provide concrete tools to women and others fighting to change the circumstances which lead to violence against women and girls.
The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) builds on the tools and lessons of the domestic Violence Against Women Act of 1994. I-VAWA supports U.S. programs around the globe that help prevent violence, support health and survivor services, encourage legal accountability and a change in public attitudes, promote access to economic opportunity and education for women and girls, and support existing similar initiatives worldwide. Furthermore, I-VAWA would make the issue of violence against women a major diplomatic priority.
Gender equality is a prerequisite to sustainable global development and security; investment in the safety of women and girls is not only a moral imperative, it is a down-payment on the stability and wellbeing of the United States.
Jewish tradition teaches all men and women were created b’tselem elohim, in the image of the divine, and that our health and our bodies are gifts from God that we are to protect and nurture. Violence committed against women and girls is a denial of the Jewish belief in the fundamental dignity of every individual and an abhorrent violation of the sanctity and wholeness of the body and health of another person.
Furthermore, when the wellbeing of another is at risk we are commanded to take action to prevent harm, for we are taught that we must not “stand idly by the blood of a neighbor” (Leviticus 19:16). Although we continue to fight violence against women within our own borders, we can also work to end the pain and subjugation of women in any nation.
In e-mails, faxes and phone calls, please contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to re-introduce and support the International Violence Against Women Act. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code.
For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Katharine Nasielski at 202.387.2800.