U.S. Congress Introduces International Violence Against Women Act

Evidence-based Solutions and Work with Men and Boys Key Components
Wed, 02/24/2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) issued the following statement upon Congress’s reintroduction today of the International Violence Against
Women’s Act (IVAWA).

ICRW, which conducts empirical research and advocates for evidence-based policies and programs,
worked with Congressional leaders to help craft a multi-sectoral approach to alleviate violence and
encourage stronger partnerships among the health, economic, social and legal sectors.

In its consultations with legislators, ICRW emphasized the importance of working with men and boys
as partners and using research-based evidence to combat violence in developing countries, which
are key components of the IVAWA legislation.

“There is growing evidence about the effectiveness of programs that recast the idea of what it means
to ‘be a man’ as involved caretakers and partners rather than violent and domineering,” said Gary
Barker, director of gender, violence and rights at ICRW. “Programs that work with adolescent boys
as well as men have proven that changing cultural norms can and does reduce violent behavior,
especially towards women.”

Mary Ellsberg, ICRW’s vice president of research and programs added, “Years of data collection
helped to inform the drafting of this legislation and ICRW is excited to see that the bill puts a high
premium on the need for continued study. The bill includes funding for critical research, ensuring
we understand where and why violence occurs, and the best ways to prevent or respond to it.”

ICRW President Geeta Rao Gupta also applauded the move and said: “This is a transformative time
given the administration’s focus on women and girls and legislation like IVAWA is critical to reducing
violence around the world. ICRW appreciates the bold leadership of Reps. Delahunt and Poe; and
Sens. Kerry, Snowe, Boxer and Collins, who are working across the political aisle to make the world
safer for women and girls.”

Media Contact: 
Jeannie Bunton, 202.742.1316, Jbunton@icrw.org
Mission Statement: 

ICRW's mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs.

Related News

Every day, tens of millions of girls around the world don’t have the opportunity to decide when, if, and whom to marry. They don’t have the chance to go to a good school, which can prepare them for jobs that will help lift their families out of poverty. And they lack access to safe, affordable sexual and reproductive health care that will let them control their own future.

More »

As the 69th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) convenes this month, the year-long intergovernmental process to negotiate the world’s development framework for the next 15 years formally begins. The culmination of this process will be the “post-2015 development agenda,” a set of internationally agreed development objectives that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire next year.

More »
In light of this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, ICRW's Senior Policy Manager Lyric Thompson describes how the White House needs to do all it can to encourage leaders to address human rights...
More »

In case you missed it, Monday was the second-annual “Malala Day,” a celebration designated by the UN to honor Malala Yousafzai, the brave Pakistani teenager targeted by the Taliban for her activism for girls’ education. After surviving being shot on her school bus, Malala has gone on to be an even louder advocate for girls’ education and rights. She has written a book, participated in countless interviews around the world and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. What were you doing at 17?

More »