U.S. Congress Introduces International Violence Against Women Act

Press Release Subtitle

Evidence-based Solutions and Work with Men and Boys Key Components

Press Release Author

Jeannie Bunton, 202.742.1316, [email protected]

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.”

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.