Gender-based violence is a global problem & the numbers are staggering

Gender-based violence is a global problem and the numbers are staggering:

* One in three women will face physical, mental or sexual abuse in their lifetimes.

* Each year, around 3 million girls and women – or some 8,000 girls each day – face the risk of female genital mutilation. An estimated 200 million girls have already been subjected to the practice.

* Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday. Nearly 39,000 girls under the age of 18 are still married each day.

* In some countries, as many as 30 percent of women report that their first sexual experience was coerced or forced. The younger a woman was at the time of sexual initiation, the higher the chance that it was violent.

* One billion women and girls are affected by violence, including rape, domestic violence, acid burning, dowry-deaths, “honor” killings, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, "child marriage" and other harmful practices.

* Violent extremism is on the rise and it places the subordination of women at the center of the ideology and war tactics - mass rape is often used as a weapon of war.

I-VAWA is bi-partisan legislation that will reinforce on-the-ground efforts around the world to reduce violence against women and girls through United States foreign policy.

The legislation focuses on establishing and supporting laws and legal structures that help prevent and appropriately respond to all forms of violence, helping avert violence by changing community norms and attitudes. It also reduces women and girls’ vulnerability to violence by improving their economic and educational opportunities in environments that are free from sexual coercion and assault.

This legislation will renew America's commitment to ensuring that the world is a safer place for women and girls.

Now more than ever, women and girls deserve a chance to live lives free from violence. International women's rights organisation Equality Now, along with its partners in the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally, is calling on Congress to swiftly consider and pass I-VAWA to empower women and girls, along with their communities and nations, to end the violence.

Does your Senator support I-VAWA? Join us in showing your support by sending your representative a message urging them to support women and girls across the world!

About Equality Now:

Equality Now is an international human rights organization that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world by combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy. Our international network of lawyers, activists, and supporters achieve legal and systemic change by holding governments responsible for enacting and enforcing laws and policies that end legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage.

For more information about Equality Now’s ongoing campaigns please go www.equalitynow.org.

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