Schakowsky, Boxer introduce bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA)

CHICAGO– Representative Jan Schakowsky has joined with Senator Barbara Boxer in re-introducing House and Senate versions of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) of 2015.  This legislation received wide bipartisan support in the 113th Congress, attracting 117 cosponsors in the House and 30 in the Senate. This year, the bill was introduced with 9 Democrats and 9 Republicans. 

“We must continue to focus on combating gender-based violence whenever and wherever it occurs. The International Violence Against Women Act will ensure that this remains a top foreign policy priority of the United States, protecting the lives of women and girls, and promoting peace,” Rep. Schakowsky said, “I am grateful for the strong bipartisan support of my colleagues in the House and Senate, and I look forward to working together to move this legislation forward.” 

“Too many women and girls face horrific violence and discrimination across the globe, every day, and that affects our national security, global justice and economic growth,” Senator Boxer said. “The International Violence Against Women Act will prioritize ending violence against women and girls, and will ensure the U.S. government has a comprehensive diplomatic strategy that defends the rights and safety of women and girls around the world.”

The International Violence Against Women Act would implement a wide range of reforms to help end violence against women abroad.  By requiring a comprehensive strategy to combat gender-based violence abroad, supporting structures to prevent gender-based violence and promoting economic and educational opportunities for women and girls, IVAWA’s passage would benefit women around the world. 

In addition to significant support from lawmakers, IVAWA is strongly supported by a broad coalition of groups including Amnesty International USA, American Jewish World Service, CARE USA, Futures Without Violence, Women Thrive Worldwide and hundreds of others.  

The co-chairs of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally made the following remarks:

“We commend members of Congress from both sides of the aisle for reintroducing the International Violence Against Women Act with bipartisan support,” said Esta Soler, founder and president of Futures Without Violence. “Violence against women and girls is an issue that knows no political or geographic boundaries—from forced marriage to domestic violence. With International Women’s Day right around the corner, now’s the time to take action and put an end to these human rights violations.”

“Congress has the opportunity to say that when it comes to the global epidemic of violence against women, enough is enough,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Violence against women is unacceptable. This legislation is critical to helping stop violence from occurring in the first place and ensuring that women have access to justice and equality before the law when it does. The threats facing women and girls every day across the globe are very serious and very real. Congress needs to pass IVAWA quickly to help ensure that respect for women’s efforts to claim their rights is just as real.”

“The International Violence Against Women Act is a vitally important piece of legislation. The United States should lead the way in putting an end to physical and sexual violence against women and girls,” said Dr. Patricia T. Morris, President of Women Thrive Worldwide. “It’s past time that Congress prioritizes ending gender-based violence worldwide and passes this bill. In the IVAWA, the United States has a real opportunity to help end gender-based violence.”

“Gender-based violence continues to be a major threat around the world,” said CARE President and CEO Helene D. Gayle. “It exacerbates poverty and tears communities apart.  At CARE we have witnessed both the suffering experienced by survivors of unspeakable violence, as well as the cost to critical U.S. investments in health, education, economic empowerment and food security. The bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act is an important tool for the U.S. as it works to combat gender-based violence and will help to support vital programming in the 84 countries where CARE works.”

“We cannot rest until every woman and girl around the world is protected against unconscionable acts of violence by groups like Boko Haram, and we praise bipartisan leaders of Congress for joining together to demand action,” said Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service. “We must do all we can to stop this deadly global epidemic of violence against women and girls, and passing the International Violence Against Women Act is an important step forward to making this a priority for the United States government. We applaud the Senators and Representatives introducing this critical piece of bipartisan legislation for understanding the gravity of this threat and standing up to protect women and girls.”


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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills