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
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .