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Dr. Mary Ellsberg of PATH, Dr. Nata Duvvury of ICRW, Ms. Pamela Sibanda Mumbi of International Justice Mission, and Ms. Kiersten Steward of FVPF.

On Wednesday, October 31, the US Senate took a critical step toward alleviating the international problem of violence against women by introducing a bill that, if approved, will lead to the integration of violence-prevention activities in US foreign assistance programs. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and ranking member Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the bill, titled the International Violence Against Women Act.

According to the language of the bill, the goal is “to systematically integrate and coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls into United States foreign policy and foreign assistance programs, and to expand implementation of effective practices and programs.”

PATH is proud to support this important piece of legislation and is very pleased to have contributed to this effort, which was spearheaded by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the Women’s Edge Coalition, and Amnesty International USA, in consultation with more than 150 nongovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies, and women’s groups across the globe.

The International Violence Against Women Act builds on evidence presented in the groundbreakingWHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women—a 2005 study co-authored by PATH, the World Health Organization, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The landmark study crossed countries and cultures to shed light on gender-based violence, involving more than 24,000 women in ten countries. Data from the report shows that violence against women is widespread and demands a public health response.

Learn more:

Information about the International Violence Against Women Act on the Women’s Edge Coalition website.

The WHO Multi-country Study and PATH’s efforts to expose the health consequences of violence against women.

PATH’s work in women’s health.

Posted November 9, 2007.