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International

We believe that ending violence against women and children is essential to development, health and prosperity in nations and communities around the globe. One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime—with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. This type of violence can take on many forms, from rape to domestic violence, to child marriage and human trafficking. In an effort to end this scourge on women and girls worldwide, FUTURES engages in advocacy, education and programming efforts and helps develop innovative policy solutions which call for sustained support and continued leadership.

Legislation

Progress toward equality remains elusive in every field. No nation has achieved gender equality in education, health, economic empowerment, power, decision-making, and violence against women and the girl child. At FUTURES, we work to identify the drivers of inequality, advance policy and legislative solutions that address such drivers, and put forth pathways that will lead to achieving equality.

Safe From the Start Act Contact your congressmember and tell them to vote yes on the Safe from the Start Act!
Click below to contact YOUR individual congressmember and send a pre-written message urging them to pass this important bill. It’s easy, takes one minute, and makes a huge difference. Thank YOU for your help!

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117th Congress Lead Sponsors:
Rep. Grace Meng [D-NY-6], Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R-FL-25], Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, [D-PA-6], Rep. Chris Stewart, [R-UT-2], Rep. Lois Frankel, [D-FL-21]

House-social-media-SAFE-FROM-THE-START-5 Armed conflict, natural disasters and climate change often have the greatest impact on the poorest countries, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable, including women and girls. Global estimates indicate that nearly 70 million people are currently displaced around the world, and we are experiencing the largest refugee crisis in recorded history. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted women and girls worldwide, putting those who are displaced at unique risk of harm.

Conditions in refugee camps and other displacement settings often expose women and girls to greater security risks including sexual exploitation. 

Despite the acute impacts that emergencies have on women and girls, they are often excluded from leadership and decision-making roles when it comes to humanitarian response. 

Safe from the Start Act — A Policy Solution to Address Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Emergencies

The Safe from the Start Act will formalize and expand on a vital program to make it even more effective.

Specifically, the Safe from Start Act will:

  • Formalize the State Department’s and USAID’s existing Safe from the Start program, thus ensuring continuous attention and resources for the issue of GBV in humanitarian emergencies;
  • Update the objectives of Safe from the Start, including goals related to protection and empowerment of women and girls in emergencies, and broad partnerships to improve and scale-up NGO and local capacity;
  • Establish a Congressional reporting requirement to ensure accountability towards the goals and objectives of the Safe from the Start initiative; and
  • Recognize that the U.S. Government should provide assistance and protection where needed, but also build the capacity of women and women-led local organizations to act as first responders, community leaders and drivers of sustainable change.

Resources

Safe From the Start H.R. 571 Section by Section

SFTS Brief

Girls Lead Act CALL ON YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO COSPONSOR THE GIRLS LEAD ACT

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Girls LEAD Act
Supporting Girls Leadership, Engagement, Agency, And Development

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced that they will introduce the Girls’ Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) Act, legislation to promote girls’ leadership and participation in civic and political processes through U.S. foreign assistance.  Representatives David Trone (D-Md.-06)  and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.-05) introduced the companion legislation in the House.

The Girls LEAD Act aims to improve the effectiveness of U.S.-led democracy and governance initiatives, as well as increase girls’ ability to engage in decision-making processes affecting their lives and their communities, ultimately fostering new generations of empowered women leaders. 

LEARN WHY GIRLS’ CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IS CRITICAL TO A STRONG FUTURE

Resources
Senate Bill Brief
House Bill Brief

keeping-girls-in-school-photo Contact Your Member of Congress and tell them to cosponsor the Keeping Girls in School Act. 

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Futures Without Violence is a proud supporter of the Keeping Girls in School Act of 2021. The bill has bipartisan support in both houses of congress. It was re-introduced in June of 2021 by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate and Representatives Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Mike Waltz (R-FL) in the House.

keeping girls in school teacher and students The Keeping Girls in School Act would direct the U.S. government to leverage its resources and partnerships with private institutions, NGOs and federal agencies to create solutions that address the obstacles facing adolescent girls. The bill would also require the development of a U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls to ensure that the United States remains committed to adolescent girls as a critical demographic in the growth of every nation, especially in developing nations.

African Woman Empowered One out of every three women worldwide will be abused during her lifetime. Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, a public health epidemic, and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV and AIDS, and violent conflict. It devastates the lives of millions of women and girls-in peacetime and in conflict–and knows no national or cultural barriers. Most importantly, it must end.

The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) calls for a comprehensive U.S. response to end violence against women and girls globally. Passage of this crucial piece of legislation would represent a big step forward in the U.S. government’s commitment to ensuring that every woman and girl can live a life free from violence and fulfill her basic human rights. It would also make gender equality a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.

International Violence Against Women Act FUTURES is a leading proponent of the bill, as co-chair of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally, working closely with lawmakers, advocates, partner organizations, survivors, and more to support its passage. IVAWA demonstrates that the prevention of global gender-based violence is a universal issue that transcends political beliefs.

From Nigeria to India, we must do our part to put an end to the devastating events across the world. Urge Congress to act now to prevent gross human rights violations–from child and forced marriage to domestic violence—and promote global stability and security.

Programs

FUTURES has taken the nationwide success of Coaching Boys Into Men and expanded it into the international space, hosting trainings, supporting program adaptations, and partnering with international organizations to expand the reach of CBIM across the globe. 

In December of 2019 FUTURES was invited to partner with Women Win, US Embassy Pakistan, and Right to Play Pakistan to help explore the topic of gender-based violence (GBV) within the context of Pakistan and better understand the landscape of actors and stakeholders working on issues related to GBV and sport for social change, adolescent girls and engaging boys and men,  and to share U.S. and global best practices around using sport to address gender-based violence, working with adolescent girls and engaging boys and men

In April of 2022, the Attorneys General Association and Basketball Africa League / NBA (BAL4HER) invited FUTURES to the BAL tournament taking place in Cairo, Egypt, to introduce the vital tenets of advancing allyship of professional athletes towards women and girls in their communities.

Budgets & Appropriations

Women and girls are chronically undervalued members of society who face abuses and violations of their human rights in staggeringly high numbers, but who deserve the same economic, social and political opportunities as others in their communities. Promoting gender equality is a matter of justice and equity, but U.S. investments in women’s and girls’ rights and leadership also advance American interests in security, development, and growth. The United States has invested in preventing and responding to gender-based violence globally for more than two decades and in the last 10 years has enhanced its investment to empower women and girls and reduce violence. Our annual requests for such investments insure continued support for this lifesaving work.

Gender Community FY2022 OMB / Presidential Request

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Issues & Advocacy

At FUTURES we believe in the power of data and the importance of exploring and amplifying new learnings that add to our collective understanding of what contributes to patterns and behaviors that perpetuate inequality and inequity.  We also recognize and welcome opportunities to collaborate with and learn from like-minded organizations in pursuit of advancing justice and equality.  Some of our more recent publications and collaborative exchanges can be found here:

Leila Milani, Program Director for Global Policy and Advocacy, provides an update on the protests in Iran and how women and girls are at the forefront of the fight for freedom.

Protests are sweeping across Iran in the wake of the death of the young women, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the Iranian Morality Police for not wearing her hijab properly. We stand with the women and protestors of Iran speaking to truth and fighting to get the word out. Find here facts on the situation, how you can engage, and what actions the US Government can do.

List Icon Fact Sheet on Iran
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