“The United States is committed to ending gender-based violence and urges countries around the world to stand united in this effort – for the sake of national security, global prosperity, and the rights and dignity of women and girls worldwide.” Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Violence against women is a global issue that affects millions annually. Everyone deserves a life free from violence. The United States is committed to advancing women’s empowerment and preventing and responding to gender-based violence, including intimate partner abuse, child, early and forced marriage, and “honor” killings to sexual harassment, violence, and threats on- and offline.
Eliminating violence against women and girls requires all of us — men and women alike, governments, the private sector, civil society, and faith-based organizations — to take action. To help bring attention to this global challenge, the United States is proud to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Promoting the Safety, Human Rights, and Dignity of Women and Girls
By supporting women and girls’ safety, security, and access to justice, the Department of State is helping survivors prevent and recover from abuse. The Department is supporting the development of a publicly available set of Women, Peace, and Security indicators that can be integrated into early warning systems globally to enhance their predictive capacities. Since 2017, the Department’s Voices Against Violence Initiative has provided emergency assistance to more than 1,000 survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence. The United States regularly takes action against threats, violence and arbitrary detention targeting women politicians, journalists, and activists exercising their fundamental freedoms around the world.
“The United States is proud to reaffirm its commitment to defending the rights of women and girls around the world to live free from violence. Gender-based violence is a global issue that harms millions of women and girls annually, as well as their communities and families.” – Morgan Ortagus, Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State
Through the State Department’s Safe from the Start initiative, investments are improving humanitarian systems with programming on preparedness, training, and mentorship for gender-based violence first responders and incorporating gender-based violence risk reduction and safety mechanisms. This Initiative has built institutional response for strengthened and swifter action on addressing violence against women and girls from the onset of humanitarian emergencies.
The State Department also supports the United States’ historic legacy of promoting transitional justice and accountability for sexual violence in conflict. We have invested in human rights documentation for abuses in countries such as Burma, The Gambia, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria and mobilized international support for national transitional justice and specialized criminal justice mechanisms, such as the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. We continue to support domestic efforts that address the needs of victims of sexual violence in Colombia, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United States recognizes the inherent dignity that every woman and girl possesses and is committed to defending the safety, security, and prosperity of women and girls around the world to cultivate their development as future leaders of our world.
“Now is the time to put an end to gender-based violence, to stand with survivors, and to empower victims.” Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Learn more about U.S. Diplomatic Leadership in Support of Women, Peace, and Security here.
Learn more about the Safe from the Start initiative here.