Opinion: IVAWA Marks ‘First Step’ Towards Making Women Central Focus Of U.S. Foreign Policy

In a Politico opinion piece, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), lead sponsors of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), together with Larry Cox and Kerry Kennedy of Amnesty International USA, reflect on the significance of the legislation introduced in the House and Senate on Thursday. “Introduction of this bill supports the efforts of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to rightly put women at the very center of a broad global security agenda that factors in the great challenges of our decade and invests in the world’s peacemakers,” the authors write before describing how the legislation would work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s in our own interests. Investing in women makes sense because when they are safe and free to earn a living they invest in education and grow economies – making U.S. assistance dollars go farther,” the authors continue. “Going forward, this goal should be recognized as crucial to global development and stability, and by extension, to America’s security. IVAWA is the first step in making women a central focal point in U.S. foreign policy and allows the United States to join with them in their struggle to stop the violence” (2/4).