Senate To Debate Bill To Stop Violence Against Women

“Bipartisan legislation that would mandate a comprehensive plan to combat violence against women worldwide is poised for a potential congressional vote, marking tough new action by the United States on a problem that’s commonplace across the globe,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.

In addition to offering protection to women worldwide, Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), a sponsor of the legislation in the House, “has said that passing the bill is an important step toward … advancing U.S. security interests,” according to the news service. “Since the act was introduced last February, the House and the Senate versions have gained traction in both parties: The House version has 118 co-sponsors and the Senate version has 30,” the news service writes. The Senate is to begin debate on the bill Wednesday, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

The legislation, estimated to cost $50 million over five years, will offer additional aid to “20 countries that already are preventing and working against abuse,” the news service writes. “It also would increase access to hospitals and medical care for victims while stepping up enforcement against abusers.”

The article notes that both “President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary [Rodham] Clinton have called for increased legal and health protection for women.” It also highlights efforts made by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year to eradicate violence against women. The piece includes comments by a spokesperson for Rep. Delahunt, and Ritu Sharma, head of Women Thrive, “one of the organizations behind the legislation,” according to McClatchy (French, 8/2).