Help Us Create a World without Violence

 
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Support IVAWA
Support IVAWA

Violence against women and girls is the world’s most common human rights violation, the most pervasive public health epidemic, and the cause of the greatest cumulative loss of human potential in history. Yet, few governments enforce laws against it and international donor agencies fail to invest significant resources to address it. We are trying to change that. With your support, Women Thrive works with the United States government to both recognize gender-based violence as a pressing global concern and allocate resources to fight it.

Earlier this month, the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) was reintroduced in both houses of Congress, led by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky  and with a total of 18 original sponsors -- nine Republicans and nine Democrats. This is the fifth time the bill has been reintroduced in Congress. Why is this piece of legislation so important? The IVAWA will permanently authorize the Office of Global Women’s Issues in the State Department, as well as the position of the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who is responsible for coordinating activities, policies, programs, and funding relating to gender integration and women’s empowerment internationally.

We currently have this structure in place, however the the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally is set to expire in August. Therefore, efforts to combat gender-based violence are urgently needed, because they will no longer have a set protocol after the expiration. IVAWA would codify an updated strategy, ensuring the United States' continues to commit resources to highly effective programs that focus on ending the cycle of violence.

The World Health Organization reports that one in every three women will experience physical or sexual abuse at some point in her lifetime. That’s one too many. In the International Violence Against Women Act, we have a real opportunity to help take one to none.

With your support, Women Thrive is able to advocate for reintroducing the bill and keep gender-based violence a priority among high-level decision makers. Our advocacy has influenced key leadership and personnel at USAID, the State Department and several Congressional offices. But our work is not done. Please urge your congressional member to support IVAWA by clicking here. Share the link with friends, family, colleagues, etc. We have to let Congress know that Americans want the International Violence Against Women Act passed. 

Thank you for your commitment to women and girls globally. Your support makes a difference.  

Links:

Ghanaian Girl
Ghanaian Girl

Women Thrive's annual brochure looks back on what we have been able to accomplish on behalf of the world's women and girls in 2014, all thanks to your support. Please click here to read our brochure and learn more about the impact that your gift has made. 

A few highlights from this year: 

  • Spearheading the #No1Nowhere campaign to push for the International Violence Against Women Act currently in Congress. We were met with inspiring enthusiasm from thousands of allies around the world from entertainers, elected officials, and religious leaders. To participate in the campaign, visit www.no1nowhere.com
  • Facilitating a 2-day capacity-building workshop in Nairobi, Kenya with 50 educational leaders from over 20 Sub-Saharan countries. Participants learned and practiced new skills to advocate for issues like girls' education and violence against girls. Women Thrive has created a training guide to help other civil society organizations improve advocacy skills.
  • Convening a critical summit on women’s economic opportunity. At our recent summit, “Out of Extreme Poverty: Women Leading the Way”, we brought three extraordinary women—Lydia from Ghana, Sylvia from Nicaragua, and Abbigal from Zimbabwe—to sit down with the World Bank, IFC, State Department, USAID, corporations, foundations and NGOs to encourage greater investments specifically in women’s leadership, capacity building and training. 

Thank you for your support in 2014. You have made a world of difference in helping empower women and girls globally. 

Kenya Advocacy Training August 2014
Kenya Advocacy Training August 2014

Last week, Congress voted on H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015—dubbed the “cromnibus”. President Obama soon signed the bill, keeping the government funded for the next nine months. 

So, what does the spending bill do for programs that impact women and girls worldwide? Actually, a lot.

Firstly, funding for the international affairs budget for fiscal year 2015 increased to 49.27 billion for poverty based development assistance. This is an increase of $269 million more than the 2014 budget.

Funding Highlights Include:

  • $150 million for gender-based violence prevention and response efforts
  • $50 million for women’s leadership programming
  • $7.5 million in funding for UN Women Thrive Worldwide

Secondly, the bill not only ramps up funding for development assistance, but also focuses heavily on integrating gender into foreign aid and humanitarian programs. New reporting language will require the US government to provide an official report to Congress and the public on how gender funds are being utilized.

Overall, 2015 looks to be a better year for gender-focused program funding. But this is just the beginning.

Women Thrive will be working hard to ensure U.S. foreign policy does all it can to empower women and girls. Adequately funding programs is just the start. With your help, we are able to engage and educate lawmakers on the importance of gender in foreign aid assistance. Thank you for your continued support as we fight gender-based violence every day in every forum possible.

Please pardon the last minute notice, but I wanted to make sure you knew that Women Thrive has teamed up with the ONE Campaign's Girls and Women Program and Google for a special conversation about women and poverty. You can watch and join the Google Hangout here: https://plus.google.com/events/cp4j3r8f6n1gb3t2qs98pq8pcrg?fd=1 

This unique panel—part of an ongoing effort to advance women’s economic opportunity—will include representatives from the Brookings Institution, the World Bank, and FashionABLE.

Jina Moore, Buzzfeed’s International Women’s Rights Correspondent, will be logging in from Kenya to moderate.

I really hope you can join us in a few minutes. If not, the entire conversation will be available live and archived at the link below:

http://womenthrive.org/teach-woman-fish-economic-opportunities-women-developing-world 

I hope you can join us!

Best,

Mei Powers

Watch our No1Nowhere campaign update video!
Watch our No1Nowhere campaign update video!

Last week, Women Thrive brought your voices to Capitol Hill with a loud, clear message: No one, nowhere should have to live in fear of gender-based violence.

So many people like you have helped make the No1Nowhere campaign a success that we thought we’d put together a short VIDEO to let you know how far we have come since its launch. Click HERE to view how far we have come. 

When Women Thrive launched the No1Nowhere Campaign in April, we were not sure what to expect. Since then..

  • Celebrities like Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory, Candid Camera) have taken up the call for action to stop violence against women and girls around the world; and
  • Thousands of caring people from around the world have submitted No1Nowhere photos and signed the No1Nowhere petition. From religious leaders to performing artists, to Members of Congress and more, the show of support for No1Nowhere is an inspiring testament to the power of your voices.

All year, Women Thrive and our partners in the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally have been meeting with Congressional offices and building support in the media and online for action to end violence against women and girls.

This is real progress but our work is far from over. We will keep turning the spotlight to end gender based violence in the media and online. And we will continue to educate lawmakers and connect with women and men around the world who are working to stop rape, dowry deaths, female genital mutilation and other forms of violence against women and girls.

We have plenty to do and will need your help. For now, please accept our sincere thanks—on behalf of everyone at Women Thrive Worldwide—for taking the time to care. 

 

Warm Regards,

Mina Alemzadeh

Links:

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Project Leader

Mina Alemzadeh

Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Us Create a World without Violence