Press Release

Kerry, Gillibrand, Shaheen, Boxer, and Cardin Mark International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women

Nov 25, 2009

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry
(D-MA), along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Sheehan (D-NH),
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) released
the following statements to mark the International
Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:

“The International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women is an important reminder of just how many women and girls
continue to be subjected to violence and discrimination around the world. I
applaud the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to involve boys and men in this
effort; women’s safety cannot be guaranteed without their involvement,” said
Chairman Kerry
. “Before the end of the year, I intend to introduce the
International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) to strengthen the United
States’ commitment to this global effort. Societies where women are safe
and can pursue their aspirations will realize their full social and economic

“In conflict situations around the world, gender-based
violence is often used as a tactic of war and terrorism,” said Senator
.  “Despite several UN Security Council resolutions that affirm
sexual violence as a war crime, these crimes continue.  We must find new
ways to engage women in the political process and support them in leadership
roles.  Only by giving women a voice and political power will these
barbaric practices change.”

“Every day in every corner of
the globe, women and girls are subjected to discrimination and violence. It is
unacceptable. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against
Women serves as a reminder of how much work we have left to do,” said Senator
. “We must change laws so they better protect women, we must change
perceptions so that violence is no longer tolerated in communities, and we must
change behaviors so that women do not suffer. I applaud UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon for his efforts on behalf of women, and I urge leaders in the
United States and around the world to take action to end violence.”

“On this occasion, it is important to pause and
remember the millions of women and girls around the globe who face horrific
violence in their homes and communities each and every day,” Senator Boxer
. “It is also an opportunity to redouble our efforts to end this violence
once and for all. We will never see the progress that humankind is capable of
until women and girls can live without fear and realize their full

“The United Nations designated the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence Against Women to draw attention to a serious problem
that has too often been ignored or neglected.  I call on the international
community to take strong action to combat violence and discrimination against
women and girls around the world.  Today, my thoughts are especially with
the women and girls who are victims of human trafficking and who live with fear
and abuse on a daily basis,” said Senator Cardin