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USA: Amnesty International Lobby Day on Capitol Hill Focused on Global Violence Against Women

WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some 200 Amnesty International activists -- from across the United States and from Nepal, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe -- will hold discussions with members of Congress and their staff on Monday, April 28, urging support for the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). The bipartisan bill is a historic opportunity for the United States to raise the worldwide issue of violence against women in its diplomatic work and have an impact on the suffering of millions of women and girls.

    Amnesty International USA's Executive Director Larry Cox will join activists on Capitol Hill for discussions planned with members of the House and Senate and their staffs throughout the day (more than 100 meetings are scheduled).

The International Violence Against Women Act (S.2279) creates the first comprehensive, integrated approach to addressing violence globally and will help achieve U.S. foreign policy goals of defeating terrorism, creating prosperity and ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. AIUSA, Family Violence Prevention Fund and Women Thrive Worldwide collected input from 40 international and 150 U.S.-based groups with relevant expertise.

    Violence against women and girls is a tremendous human rights problem around the world. It includes rape, domestic violence, mass rapes during wartime, acid burning, dowry deaths, so-called "honor killings," human trafficking, female genital cutting and more. The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that up to one in three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries, according to the World Health Organization.

    "Violence destabilizes countries, impedes economic progress, and
prevents women from raising healthy children," said Cox. "The U.S.
government's current efforts are well-intentioned but fragmented and
piecemeal. The International Violence Against Women Act raises the issue to the forefront of the foreign policy agenda and will help prevent devastating consequences for women and their families."

    Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman and Ranking Republican of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have authored the bipartisan bill, and a dozen senators have co-sponsored it. Amnesty International is campaigning for introduction of the bill in the House.

WHO: 200 Amnesty International USA activists
WHAT: Amnesty International USA Lobby Day on the International Violence Against Women Act
WHERE: Senate and House offices, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
WHEN: Monday, April 28, 2008

URL: Click here

DATE: 12/05/2008

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