Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD)released the following statements to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:
"The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an important reminder of just how many women and girls continue to be subjected to violence and discrimination around the world. I applaud the UN Secretary-General's efforts to involve boys and men in this effort; women's safety cannot be guaranteed without their involvement," said Chairman Kerry. "Before the end of the year, I intend to introduce the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) to strengthen the United States' commitment to this global effort. Societies where women are safe and can pursue their aspirations will realize their full social and economic potential."
"In conflict situations around the world, gender-based violence is often used as a tactic of war and terrorism," said Senator Gillibrand. "Despite several UN Security Council resolutions that affirm sexual violence as a war crime, these crimes continue. We must find new ways to engage women in the political process and support them in leadership roles. Only by giving women a voice and political power will these barbaric practices change."
"Every day in every corner of the globe, women and girls are subjected to discrimination and violence. It is unacceptable. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women serves as a reminder of how much work we have left to do," said Senator Shaheen. "We must change laws so they better protect women, we must change perceptions so that violence is no longer tolerated in communities, and we must change behaviors so that women do not suffer. I applaud UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his efforts on behalf of women, and I urge leaders in the United States and around the world to take action to end violence."
"On this occasion, it is important to pause and remember the millions of women and girls around the globe who face horrific violence in their homes and communities each and every day," Senator Boxer said. "It is also an opportunity to redouble our efforts to end this violence once and for all. We will never see the progress that humankind is capable of until women and girls can live without fear and realize their full potential."
"The United Nations designated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to draw attention to a serious problem that has too often been ignored or neglected. I call on the international community to take strong action to combat violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. Today, my thoughts are especially with the women and girls who are victims of human trafficking and who live with fear and abuse on a daily basis," said Senator Cardin.