The U.S. celebrates Women’s History during the month of March, and has observed International Women’s Day on March 8 since 1911. Yet despite the rhetoric and purported support for women’s rights and worth, Congress still has not passed the International Violence Against Women Act.
- Establish an Office of Global Women's Issues;
- Establish a Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment who shall direct USAID activities, policies, programs, and funding relating to gender equality and women's empowerment;
- Develop or update annually a U.S. global strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, and coordinate U.S. government efforts regarding gender integration and advancing the status of women and girls in U.S. foreign policy; and
- Include in each strategy an analysis of best practices for preventing and addressing violence against women and girls internationally; and develop a plan for monitoring programs, projects, and activities carried out under this Act.
Time Magazine recently published an article “The Secret War Crime,” revealing the horrendous realities around wartime rape. The stories of survivors from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who refuse to be silenced, should move us to action. ISIS’s sale of women as sexual slaves in Iraq and Syria is not a distant problem. As people of faith it is our problem: Too many women in our country and abroad suffer sub-personhood status. Our faith demands that we act to recognize the God-given worth of women everywhere.