After months of Republican stalling, the Senate unanimously voted yesterday to pass the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, an anti-crime bill that includes the Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA). The law codifies VAWA for five years and authorizes $3 billion in funds for sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, including sexual assault prevention training for judges, battered women’s services, state-based services for victims of domestic violence, and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence. The law authorizes $94.5 million for victims of sex trafficking, creates special visas for victims of trafficking and slavery, and doubles the current maximum penalty for sex trafficking. In addition, the bill specifies that the United States withhold certain aid from governments who fail to enforce the provisions.
The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with other national women's organizations, has campaigned for the reauthorization of this crucial legislation. FMF President Eleanor Smeal spoke at several recent press conferences, alongside feminist leaders and women members of Congress, demanding that Republican stop their political game-playing with this essential bill. Just after the bill was passed, the President and Vice President each issued statements in support of VAWA and the Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act, demonstrating a commitment to protecting women from sexual assault and domestic violence.
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. . . .