Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). Even though the content of IVAWA does not deal with abortion, this widely supported bill had been held up by anti-abortion politics. Finally, the bill emerged from committee with no anti-abortion amendment. However, to pass the bill out of committee, the committee essentially stripped funding and kept funding to existing resources.
IVAWA provides for the development of a comprehensive strategy to reduce violence against women and girls internationally including an emergency response to critical or widespread incidents of violence in situations of armed conflict. The Act also directs both the Defense Department to incorporate prevention of and response to violence against women and girls into trainings of foreign military, police, and judicial officers.
Senator Kerry stated, "This historic vote sends a powerful message to the world that the United States [Senate] stands against violence against women and girls, anywhere and everywhere it occurs. This bill tells women and girls that they are valued, respected members of society who do not have to suffer in silence."
The bill will probably not pass either the House or Senate in the lame duck session, which is running out of time and will have to be re-introduced in the new 112th Congress beginning January 5, 2011.
Media Resources: US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Press Statement 12/14/10; Amnesty International Website 12/15/10; Library of Congress 12/15/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/29/10
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday.
Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .
3/25/2015 Masked Intruder Attacks Last Abortion Clinic Standing in Mississippi - In the early hours of the morning Monday, a person in a mask wielding what appeared to be a machete attacked the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi.
The clinic revealed in a post on their website the details of the attack on what is affectionately referred to by staff and community members as The Pink House. . . .
3/17/2015 Vice President Biden Pledges 41 Million to Clear Rape Kit Backlog - Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Mikulski (D-MD) spoke yesterday at a Maryland State Police Laboratory to declare their support for a $41 million budget proposal to combat the national backlog of rape kits.
"Testing rape kits should be an absolute priority for the United States of America," Vice President Biden said, referring to the estimated 400,000 untested rape kits nationwide. . . .