Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the Keeping Women and Girls Safe from the Start Act of 2021. The legislation seeks to strengthen current United States’ and international actors’ efforts to address gender-based violence perpetrated during humanitarian crises, which disproportionately threaten the wellbeing of at-risk women and girls.
“In addition to being a pressing human rights issue, gender-based violence contributes to inequality and political instability, making it a security issue as well as a moral issue for us all. Our bipartisan bill would support U.S. and international efforts to combat such violence around the world,” said Senator Collins. “I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues to end gender-based violence and to provide the assistance and resources necessary to achieve this goal.”
“All people have the right to live free from violence, yet 1 in 3 women globally will experience violence, and in humanitarian emergencies, women and girls are even more vulnerable to violence,” said Tarah Demant, Director, Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program, Amnesty International USA. “Ending violence against women and girls should be at the heart of U.S. foreign policy, including in work to address humanitarian crises.”
In addition to establishing U.S. government policy to advance the skills of humanitarian actors, improve coordination in emergency response, and bolster support for survivors of gender-based violence in humanitarian emergency contexts, the comprehensive legislation seeks to elevate the voices of women and girls around the world by fostering empowerment opportunities that promote economic advancement, access to education, and leadership and involvement in humanitarian response efforts.
The Keeping Women and Girls Safe from the Start Act is endorsed by nearly 70 leading civil society organizations.
Click HERE to read a section-by-section summary of the bill.
Click HERE to read the full text of the bill.