U.S. Has Critical Role To Play In Ensuring Women’s Sexual, Reproductive Rights, Addressing Gender-Based Violence

HuffPost: How One Woman In Uganda Is Speaking Out Against Gender-Based Violence
Seema Jalan, executive director at Universal Access Project

“…Women and girls who experience gender-based violence have had their basic human rights violated and are at increased risk of a myriad of other sexual and reproductive health threats, including unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases. … Gender-based violence is exacerbated in humanitarian emergencies and conflicts, where violence and rape are used as a tactic of war and displaced women and girls are at increased risk in the midst of chaos. … [T]he U.S. has a critical role to play in ensuring the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls worldwide, including standing up against gender-based violence. Bipartisan leaders in Congress have taken an important first step in re-introducing the International Violence Against Women Act. But the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule and the defunding of UNFPA, two harmful actions by the U.S. administration, jeopardize the work of international gender-based violence programs … In adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, 193 countries — including the United States — agreed that the world should leave no one behind. It’s time we live up to those goals. Every person, every story counts” (12/6).