On August 10, 2012 President Obama issued an executive order “Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally,” a set of policy guidelines that set multi-year strategy for issues pertaining to gender based violence on a global scale. The President’s order explains that international policy is needed because, “gender-based violence undermines not only the safety, dignity, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of nations.”
President Obama strongly defines the importance of supporting all women, in all nations, when he states that, “Preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of my Administration’s commitment to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Such violence significantly hinders the ability of individuals to fully participate in, and contribute to, their communities — economically, politically, and socially. It is a human rights violation or abuse; a public health challenge; and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation. It is associated with adverse health outcomes, limited access to education, increased costs relating to medical and legal services, lost household productivity, and reduced income, and there is evidence it is exacerbated in times of crisis, such as emergencies, natural disasters, and violent conflicts.”
To ensure that the new strategic policy is enforced, President Obama’s executive order also establishes a working group to be co-chaired by the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and consisting of representatives from at least 12 other agencies including White House Council on Women and Girls.
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