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Ridgefield Resident Lobbies Washington to Protect Women Worldwide

Ridgefielder Gerry Sherman met with Connecticut's legislators in Washington to lobby for the International Violence Against Women Act.

From left to right, Katie Temes of New Haven, Gerry Sherman of Ridgefield, Sen. Murphy, and AJWS staff Rebecca Kaplan and Leah Kaplan Robins. Photo Credit: Jeff Zorabedian, courtesy of AJWS
From left to right, Katie Temes of New Haven, Gerry Sherman of Ridgefield, Sen. Murphy, and AJWS staff Rebecca Kaplan and Leah Kaplan Robins. Photo Credit: Jeff Zorabedian, courtesy of AJWS
In the wake of the kidnapping of more than 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria and following the introduction last Thursday of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) in the U.S. Senate, Gerry Sherman from Ridgefield and Katie Temes from New Haven met with their members of Congress to implore them to strengthen policies aimed at ending the global wave of violence against women and girls and pass IVAWA.

Sherman and Temes were two of 150 supporters of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) on Capitol Hill. AJWS is the leading Jewish international development and human rights organization.
 
Sherman and Temes met with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and staff from the offices of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) to discuss how IVAWA, if passed, would improve the lives of the millions of women and girls who suffer from violence and abuse worldwide at no cost to U.S. taxpayers.
 
“The time to pass the International Violence Against Women Act is now,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “How many more devastating stories must we hear before we act? As Jews, we understand the horrible consequences of people remaining silent in the face of violence and injustice. We cannot and will not stand idly by as women and girls are attacked by extremists aiming to strip them of their rights and dignity.”
 
“Our government has made great strides in protecting women and girls in this country, as evidenced by the recently released guidelines for colleges in the U.S. to address sexual assaults on campus and last year’s passage of the domestic Violence Against Women Act,” Messinger added. “But we must do more to tackle the epidemic of violence against women and girls on a global scale. The Obama Administration took the first step by launching the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally in 2012. Now, it is time for Congress to act.”
 
Tuesday’s Lobby Day marks the culmination of AJWS’s Policy Summit, which is a part of We Believe, AJWS’s national advocacy campaign. We Believe, which launched last year, aims to help end violence against women and girls, stop hate crimes against LGBT people and empower girls to end child marriage.

The first initiative of We Believe is to advocate for the passage of IVAWA. IVAWA would, for the first time, put the full power of the U.S. government behind the fight to end violence against women and girls internationally.
 
If passed, IVAWA would:

  • Direct the U.S. government to implement its strategy to reduce violence against women and girls in at least five countries
  • Make ending violence against women and girls a top diplomatic priority, and make the Office of Global Women’s Issues in the State Department permanent
  • Promote legal protection for women and girls who survive violence
  • Increase the capacity of the health care sector worldwide to address violence against women and girls by integrating such care into existing health programs
  • Promote public awareness campaigns to change the attitudes that perpetuate violence against women and girls
  • Support programs to reduce women and girls’ vulnerability to violence by improving their economic status and educational opportunities

Based off a release from American Jewish World Service.

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