The YWCA of Asheville would like to share an important message from the AAUW‘s Action Network about how we can all take action to #BringBackOurGirls in Nigeria – and to help prevent and respond to violence against women and girls around the world. From Lisa M. Maatz, AAUW Vice President of Government Relations:
Like many of us, I’ve watched with horror as the days have stretched on without any news on the kidnapped Nigerian girls’ whereabouts. Though comforting to know many of them are still alive, the video footage released earlier this week only intensifies the need to #BringBackOurGirls.
At times like these, I am reminded of the power we can have when we combine our voices to make change – in addition to joining the Twitter conversation to #BringBackOurGirls, we can help protect women and girls worldwide by urging our representatives to support the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).
I-VAWA would support proven strategies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, and it would bolster the efforts of women and men around the world who are working to reduce gender-based violence in their communities.
Many of the I-VAWA programs help women and girls do things we so often take for granted: go to school – as the kidnapped Nigerian girls were doing; earn an income to take care of their families; collect food or water without fear of rape; and bring perpetrators of abuse to justice. I-VAWA would increase the effectiveness of existing U.S. foreign policy to end and respond to violence against women and girls around the world.
Throughout 2012 and the beginning of 2013, your persistent advocacy helped pass a comprehensive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that will protect all survivors, including Native American and immigrant women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and students on college campuses. However, VAWA only helps survivors in the United States – that’s why Congress needs to pass the International Violence Against Women Act, known as I-VAWA.
Contact your representative and senators today: Their support of I-VAWA could change the lives of millions of women and girls around the world, so we need them to take this important action!
When implemented, I-VAWA would help put an end to the fear, pain, and suffering experienced by countless women and girls globally. AAUW joins the rest of the U.S. and the international community in praying for the safe return of the kidnapped Nigerian girls – I hope you will join us in urging Congress to pass I-VAWA so we can prevent these tragedies in the future.