Violence Against Women Act Signed Into Law!

Violence Against Women Act Signed Into Law!

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On March 7, 2013, the day before International Women’s Day, President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law.

The bill includes major provisions that require the U.S. Secretary of State to integrate child marriage prevention activities across U.S. global development programs – focused on health, education or economic development – in countries where the practice is most prevalent.

Every day, 39,000 million girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage, and it is estimated that 142 million girls will be married by their 18th birthday by 2020.

Child brides have a diminished chance of completing their education and are at a higher risk of being physically abused, contracting HIV and other diseases, and dying while pregnant or giving birth.

CARE applauds  Sen. Dick Durbin (R-IL), Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Betty McCollum (D-MN), along with former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), for their tireless dedication to ending child marriage, making sure it remains a top priority for the United States.

We  also  extend a special thank you to our CARE Action Network advocates and other CARE supporters. More than 10,000 of you signed a petition asking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase political and financial commitments to end child marriage and support married adolescents.  Many others  advocated on behalf of efforts to prevent child marriage by meeting with their policymakers, reaching out to their local media and raising awareness about this important issue.

Thanks to your efforts, the support of several Members of Congress, and the tireless work of CARE and our partners, the United States was able to take this crucial step towards ending child marriage for millions of girls worldwide.

Help CARE continue our efforts to combat all forms of gender-based violence - including child marriage - by sending a message to Secretary Kerry demanding he make ending violence against women an international priority.