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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Global Gender-Based Violence Threat

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 2:30pm
2175 Rayburn House Office Building


All around the world, women and girls are vulnerable to rape and other forms of physical and sexual violence - crimes collectively referred to as gender-based violence (GBV). According to the World Health Organization, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced some form of GBV, with rates exceeding 70 percent in some countries. Such violence can significantly affect the ability of women and girls to participate in political, economic, and peace and security initiatives. Additionally, GBV exacts a tremendous human toll on nations and has implications for global diplomatic and humanitarian efforts around the world.

This hearing will explore the range of threats that women and girls face around the world. It will also examine the extent to which U.S. development and humanitarian assistance programs address the specific needs of GBV survivors in emergency, post–emergency, and development environments. This hearing will draw on the instructive experience of organizations working to combat GBV in India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.

If you have any questions, please contact the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at 202-225-3599 or

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Panel I

  • Catherine Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, Department of State
  • Carla Koppell, Chief Strategy Officer, USAID (Former Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment)
    Written testimony

Panel II

  • Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, Women's Protection and Empowerment Unit, International Rescue Committee (IRC)
    Written testimony
  • Ravi Kant, President of the Board of Directors, Shakti Vahini, New Delhi, India
    Written testimony
  • Cristina Finch, Managing Director, Women's Human Rights Program, Amnesty International USA
    Written testimony
  • Guerda Constant, Executive Director of Fondasyon Limyè Lavi, Haiti
    Written testimony




113th Congress