Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, spoke on the Senate floor honoring International Women’s Day. He stressed that U.S. international assistance policy should address and remove barriers between women, rights and economic empowerment. His full statement can be found here.
“Empowering women is one of the most critical tools in our tool box to fight poverty and injustice. Integrating the unique needs of women into our domestic and international policies is crucial. As Chairman of the International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee at Foreign Relations, I can attest that this must be the bedrock of our foreign assistance programming if it is to be successful.
“Unfortunately, 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. Women and girls in emergencies, conflict settings, and natural disasters often face extreme violence. The statistics are staggering, but we know what works to stop violence against women and girls globally. The United States has the potential to be a true leader in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls, an issue that is inextricably linked to U.S. diplomacy, development, and national security goals.
“The U.S. government must continue to press the fundamental values of the rights of women – to vote, to attend school, to own land, to live their lives without violence, and to make their own choices.”