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This article was originally published on March 12, 2010.

Around the globe, violence takes the lives of millions of women and girls and denies countless others their dignity and the chance to live safe, productive lives.

The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) was re-introduced in both the House and Senate on Feb. 4. This groundbreaking, bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by Representatives Poe (R-TX), Delahunt (D-MA), and Schakowsky (D-IL); and by Senators Kerry (D-MA), Snowe (R-ME), Boxer (D-CA) and Collins (R-ME).

On Jan. 29, 2010, Anne Chandler, Director of Tahirih Houston, joined other prominent supporters of I-VAWA in Texas to provide remarks at an event convened by Congressman Poe to celebrate the launch of I-VAWA. Tahirih Houston has participated in many other important outreach and awareness-raising events this past quarter and looks forward to continuing to build strong partnerships in the Houston NGO and service-provider community for the benefit of Tahirih’s clients and to advance the fight to end violence against women.

If passed, I-VAWA will, for the first time in United States history, make ending violence against women a diplomatic priority and incorporate comprehensive solutions aimed at ending domestic violence into all US foreign assistance programs.

The legislation prioritizes approaches with proven efficacy such as promoting women’s economic opportunity, addressing violence against girls in school, engaging men, and working to change public attitudes. By investing in local women’s organizations overseas that are successfully working to reduce violence in their communities, I-VAWA would have a huge impact on reducing poverty—empowering millions of women in poor countries to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty.

I-VAWA was conceived and drafted by Women Thrive Worldwide, Amnesty International USA, and the Family Violence Prevention Fund with the input and support of Tahirih and a broad-based NGO coalition around the country.

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