On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the International Violence Against Women Act or I-VAWA (Text | Summary) authored by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts (Release) and Senator Barbara Boxer of California (Release).
This legislation would do the following:
- International Violence Against Women Act of 2010 – Directs: (1) the Secretary of State to designate an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues; and (2) the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to designate a Women’s Development Advisor.
- Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent violence against women and girls; (2) prepare a public report on best practices for preventing and addressing violence against women and girls internationally; and (3) determine emergency response measures to identified critical or widespread incidents of violence against women and girls in situations of armed conflict.
- Authorizes the Secretary and the Administrator to provide assistance to nongovernmental organizations, multilateral institutions, and foreign countries to implement such strategy and related activities.
- Requires that special efforts be made to award amounts appropriated under this Act to community-based and women’s nongovernmental organizations in recipient countries.
- Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to: (1) incorporate training on prevention and response into the basic training curricula of foreign military forces and judicial officials; and (2) ensure that U.S. assistance to units involved in regional or multilateral peacekeeping operations includes such training.
- Authorizes the Ambassador to provide guidance to the Administrator and the Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration.
- Authorizes the Secretary to provide guidance on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls to the Secretary of Defense when U.S. military personnel, military contractors, and military observers are to be deployed in humanitarian relief, conflict, and post-conflict settings.
- Directs the Secretary to make U.S. financial, material, human, and other resources available to assist U.N. efforts to: (1) implement training programs in prevention and response to violence against women and girls for peacekeeping and humanitarian personnel; (2) enhance the deployment of military and civilian women in peacekeeping missions; and (3) improve protection mechanisms at U.N. managed refugee and internally displaced persons camps.
In addition to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the following organizations also support this legislation: Amnesty International USA, CARE, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Global AIDS Alliance, Jewish Women International, International Center for Research on Women, International Rescue Committee, Lutheran World Relief, Refugees International, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Women’s Refugee Commission, Women Thrive Worldwide, and World Vision.