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Hanna Sponsors International Violence Against Women Act

From Richard Hanna:

U.S. Representative Richard Hanna joined a bipartisan group of House lawmakers to introduce the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), which makes ending violence against women and girls a priority of American foreign policy.

Violence against women and girls remains prevalent worldwide; one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused over the course of her lifetime, and in some countries up to 70 percent of women and girls are affected by violence.

According to a 2006 UN report, at least 102 countries around the world have no specific laws on domestic violence, and those countries with laws in place often fail to implement or enforce them. The toll of gender-based violence on women's health surpasses that of traffic accidents and malaria combined, according to Amnesty International.

To address this, I-VAWA makes ending violence against women and girls around the world a priority of American foreign policy by requiring the State Department, in consultation with USAID, to develop and implement a comprehensive international strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls internationally; updating humanitarian aid and mechanisms for responding to emergency outbreaks of violence against women and girls abroad; and making permanent the Office for Global Women’s Issues in the State Department, led by the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

"Gender-based violence hurts women every day around the world,” Rep. Richard Hanna said. “It is unacceptable anywhere it happens. One in three women currently suffer gender-based violence, and we cannot be silent in the fight to end such abuse and repression. I commend the work and accomplishments that have been achieved to date by the Department of State and USAID and I look forward to such work continuing as a permanent fixture of our nation’s diplomacy. There is still much work to be done, and as a beacon of freedom and opportunity for all people, the United States must continue to play a leading role in this effort."

Also cosponsoring the legislation were bill author U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and New York members U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
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