March 06, 2008
International Women's Day
Saturday, March 8 is International Women's Day, a day of global celebration for the political, social, and economic achievements of women. But women's achievements are constrained every day by violence, which is suffered daily by girls and women all over the world.
In fact, every day a war is being waged against women and girls, taking millions of lives and causing terrible suffering. Violence against women -- whether abuse by spouses or partners in the home, rape as a weapon during wartime, dowry deaths, or "honor killings" -- claims one of every three women or girls in the world as victims.
Their suffering is a leading contributor to poverty, preventing women from taking full advantage of economic and educational opportunities that would help create better lives for themselves and their families.
Now, the United States is poised to make a difference to end this epidemic of violence. Members of Congress from both parties have introduced legislation that will use the power of U.S. diplomacy and international aid to address physical and sexual violence against women and girls overseas.
The International Violence Against Women Act will provide $1 billion over five years in U.S. foreign assistance for long-term prevention, programs to change public attitudes and social norms and legal and health reforms, and economic development for women -- all intended to end violence against women worldwide.
On International Women's Day on Saturday, let's all contact our representative and senators to ask them to support this groundbreaking legislation. For more information visit the Family Violence Prevention Fund online, Amnesty International or Women Thrive Worldwide.