Monday, July 26, 2010

New Ad Urges Congress To Pass International VAWA Act

I've blogged about the importance of passing the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) (HR 4594/S 2982) before and urged my readers in the US to contact their representative and senators. I was reminded that this legislation is still pending by an email from the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

This is an important piece of human rights legislation that should have been passed years ago, but many people who claim to support human rights fail to do so when the humans are primarily female. Too often women's human rights are viewed as special, and therefore lesser, rights.

Sometimes this lesser status is positioned as a natural result of protecting individual rights. However, there is nothing natural about this so-called natural result, but selling it as such works to convince far too many people.

In this stratified version of individual rights only the rights of those accused of violence against women and those who enable this violence have rights which must be protected. This gendered view is often falsely presented as if it were gender neutral by framing who gets rights without mention of gender. Those accused have individual rights, those harmed do not.

Sometimes harm to women who are victims of sexual violence is viewed as positive such as expressed by a man who learned that women in Afghanistan were jailed for reporting rape. Here's his response to this human rights abuse:
I bet there aren't any false rape allegations in Afghanistan!!!
While other people might not respond to this injustice with such glee, too many people who feel bad for these women refuse to do anything to stop this type of injustice and on a practical level align themselves with this man who sees unjust imprisonment as something to celebrate.

Fortunately, there is a new push to get members of the US Congress to make this legislation a priority and to pass it this year. Women Thrive Worldwide created a print ad which includes:
Her Eyes Will See So Much.
An aunt brutally punished for being RAPED.
A friend forced into PROSTITUTION.
A cousin SOLD INTO MARRIAGE at age 12.
A sister BURNED WITH ACID for going to school.
Don't turn your back on her.
Pass the International Violence Against Women Act, so she can see a world free of violence against girls and women.”

Those who don't support girls' and women's human rights don't truly support human rights, but instead only support men's human rights. We can do better and we must do better and we must demand this from those who are supposed to represent us.

Please contact your US representative and your senators to let them know that this legislation is a priority and should be passed this year.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:48 AM   0 comments links to this post


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