CRS Sisterhood’s Response to IVAWA

In the Fall of 2014 we held a Torah study around the topic of violence against women. We decided that grounding our work in Torah was a great jumping off point for advocacy and that part of our mission as a Sisterhood was to advocate for women who need support. Since that meeting, nine people have expressed an interest in continuing our support of IVAWA in a concrete way, and we are continuing to gather to move our efforts forward and figure out how we can lobby our representatives.

The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is a bipartisan piece of legislation before both houses of Congress, that would establish a permanent office of Global Women’s Issues. This will create an ambassadorship at the State Department. No new money needs to be budgeted for IVAWA.

The sobering statistics say that one in three women in the world will suffer abuse at some time in her life. In the developing world, it can be as high as 70% of all women! IVAWA supports cost effective programs that have been proven to decrease violence against women and girls by helping them to go to school, earn an income, and accomplish such everyday basic tasks as collecting water without fear of rape or harassment. Statistics have shown that gender inequality directly corresponds to increased levels of political and economic instability within states. (Taken right out of the Bill) New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof wrote in the recent article titled, What’s So Scary About Smart Girls?, “There is no force more powerful to transform a society than women and girls. The greatest threat to extremism is girls reading books.” To this end, it is necessary to support women and girls for there to be change. It is also known that when women earn money, including micro-enterprise, and experience some economic independence, the level of intimate partner violence decreases.

If you would also like to be involved, reach out to us at sisterhood@crsnyc.org to lend your voice.