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
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .