[Senate Hearing 111-346] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] S. Hrg. 111-346 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: GLOBAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES ======================================================================= HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION __________ OCTOBER 1, 2009 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/ index.html U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 55-738 WASHINGTON : 2009 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402-0001 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts, Chairman CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin BOB CORKER, Tennessee BARBARA BOXER, California JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland JIM DeMINT, South Carolina ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming JIM WEBB, Virginia ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma EDWARD E. KAUFMAN, Delaware KIRSTEN E. GILLIBRAND, New York David McKean, Staff Director Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director (ii) C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Cammaert, Maj. Gen. Patrick, former military adviser to the U.N. Secretary General, former U.N. Force Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, New York, NY..................... 25 Prepared statement........................................... 28 Gupta, Dr. Geeta Rao, president, International Center for Research on Women, Washington, DC.............................. 36 Prepared statement........................................... 39 Kerry, Hon. John F., U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, opening statement...................................................... 1 Rapp, Hon. Stephen, Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, Department of State, Washington, DC............................ 12 Prepared statement........................................... 14 Soler, Esta, president and founder, Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), San Francisco, CA................................. 44 Prepared statement........................................... 45 Steinberg, Hon. Donald, deputy president, International Crisis Group, former Ambassador to Angola, Brussels, Belgium.......... 29 Prepared statement........................................... 31 Verveer, Hon. Melanne, Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues, Department of State, Washington, DC.................... 3 Prepared statement........................................... 7 Responses to questions submitted for the record by Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr........................................ 56 Additional Material Submitted for the Record Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, prepared statement...................................................... 53 Dodd, Hon. Christopher J., U.S. Senator from Connecticut, prepared statement............................................. 54 Feingold, Hon. Russell D., U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, prepared statement...................................................... 54 Durbin, Hon. Richard J., U.S. Senator from Illinois, prepared statement...................................................... 55 (iii) VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: GLOBAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES ---------- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2009 U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:05 p.m., in room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John F. Kerry (chairman of the committee) presiding. Present: Senators Kerry, Boxer, Shaheen, and Kaufman. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN F. KERRY, U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS The Chairman. Well, I hardly need to bang the gavel. I've never been with such a pre-in-order hearing in my life. [Laughter.] Thank you. I apologize for the delay, but I think, as you all know-- you can see, from the lights on the clock back there, that we're on the back end of another vote. And we just had two votes, and that's why we are delayed. And I appreciate your indulgence. We're here today to talk about violence against women, a subject that is, frankly, too often separated from our larger discussion about global instability, insecurity, and violence in general. We did some research and learned that this is the first time that violence against women on a global scale has been the subject of a hearing of the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee. So we're all part of a groundbreaking occasion today. One of the core tenets of the new administration's approach to security has been to go beyond the traditional categories to factor in the challenges of global health, global climate change, and global finance. The President and the Secretary of State have rightly put women at the very center of this broader global agenda. It is a fact--and you can see it, analyzing countries across the world--that societies where women are safe, where women are empowered to realize their aspirations and move their communities forward, are healthier and more stable societies. Societies that deter violence against women are better prepared to grow economically and less prone to conflict and bloodshed, and better equipped to root out terrorism and insurgency before they emerge. And I challenge anybody to go analyze those realities. If every society respected and valued women equally, America's international burden would be smaller and our people would be safer. That goal ought to be recognized as crucial to global security and America's security, going forward. This hearing comes at a tragic but timely moment. Just yesterday, credible reports from Guinea--I remember reading the newspapers yesterday morning and just in shock as I read the accounts of what took place--stories of women sexually assaulted by police, soldiers, and ordinary civilians during a protest in plain daylight. Even when seeking aftercare, women were harassed, and in many cases, it was the victims of rape who were arrested. As shocking as these stories are, and for all the collective international outrage, acts like this continue with impunity and on a harrowing scale. The U.N. says that up to 6 out of every 10 women worldwide experience physical or sexual assault and violence in their lifetime. The World Bank has found that, for women and girls between the ages of 16 and 44, rape and domestic violence are more dangerous than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war, and malaria. Domestically, our government has worked for years to address violence against women. I was proud to be part of those efforts and initiatives back in the 1990s and before, and I particularly want to single out for praise the former chairman of this committee and the Judiciary Committee, Vice President Biden, for his steadfast effort that ultimately resulted in the passage of a domestic Violence Against Women Act in 1994. That act marked a fundamental turning point in our own government's seriousness about addressing violence against women and girls. And the fact is that women and girls all over this country are safer as a result. I remember learning about this issue firsthand, actually, back when I was the first assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, and we started one of the first rape counseling units in the entire country. And the person we put in charge of it went on to become a national expert and helped to bring this to other parts of the country. It taught me a lot about how, if you, sort of, make a beginning at this and begin to educate people and bring them into a better understanding, a lot of things can change as a consequence. So what we need to do now is lead. And what we need to do now is make sure people understand these connections and connect the dots and begin to see the difference that we can all make. We need to offer some of the same protections that we've been able to achieve here, to women everywhere. That's why I plan to introduce the International Violence Against Women Act, a bill designed to put the machinery of our government to work on reducing global violence against women. To do that, the bill creates new positions inside both the State Department and USAID, gives them the staff that they need to impact policy, the budget to plan and meet priorities, and the stature to make sure that, where important decisions are being made, a champion for women's issues will be in the room. We must confront the imbalances in opportunity and status between men and women. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen estimated, back in 1990, that more than 100 million women were missing from the planet due to sex-selective abortions and female infanticide. This included more than 40 million in China and 35 million in India. Distorted gender balances fuel trafficking, abductions, forced marriages, and disaffection among young men who can't get married and raise families. By contrast, countries that value and empower women and girls are more economically successful and peaceful. And it turns out that championing these values is also an extremely effective and cost-efficient way to advance America's foreign-assistance goals, including alleviating poverty, improving health care, educating children, and developing economies. So I look forward today to hearing from our two sets of distinguished panelists on the current status of women internationally, as well as the President's efforts to link women's security into our overall foreign policy. I'm especially interested in hearing what more needs to be done to integrate women's empowerment into our large-scale assistance programs and to ensure that we give women a voice in so many countries, where today they are silenced. Before I introduce our first panel, let me submit, for the record, statements by my colleagues, Senator Lugar, Senator Feingold, and Senator Dodd, all of whom wanted to be officially part of the record today, but who couldn't be here, and Senator Durbin, who has been a strong voice on these issues, as well. For our first panel today, we welcome Melanne Verveer, the State Department's Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues. Ambassador Verveer is one of this country's foremost advocates on behalf of women, and she led the establishment of the President's Interagency Council on Women during the Clinton administration, so she understands the challenges of increasing the stature of global women's issues within the U.S. Government itself. We also welcome Stephen Rapp, Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues. Ambassador Rapp has firsthand knowledge and expertise on accountability and impunity for sexual violence against women from his experience as prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. And, obviously, all of us remember the terrible stories that came out of--well, that still come out--I mean, whether it's the Congo or Sudan or Darfur or Bosnia- Herzegovina during the Balkan struggle, we've heard too many stories of rape as an instrument of war, as a weapon, and so forth. So during his tenure in this effort, Stephen Rapp has a particular understanding of these issues, and his office achieved the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity. So with that expertise we welcome his insights into how we can strengthen our efforts, and the world's efforts, to create real accountability for crimes against women. So thank you both for being here today. And I thank my colleagues for joining us here. We will begin--Madam Secretary, thank you very much for-- Ambassador--being here. STATEMENT OF HON. MELANNE VERVEER, AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR GLOBAL WOMEN'S ISSUES, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, DC Ambassador Verveer. Thank you, Chairman Kerry, and thank you for holding these groundbreaking--this groundbreaking-- hearing in full committee to address one of the most serious global challenges of our time. The Chairman. Let me just interrupt you for 1 second. I do want to mention that Senator Boxer came to me, earlier in the year, and I want to congratulate her and thank her because she particularly wanted the committee to think about this, and I was pleased to respond to her, and we created, within her subcommittee, a separate component of her subcommitteeship that actually legitimately focuses and institutionalizes this issue within the committee, if you will. Thank you. Ambassador Verveer. Thank you for that, because it also-- the hearing that Senators Boxer and Feingold had on rape as a tool of war in DRC and Sudan applies to these hearings, as well, in a very significant way. Senators, the momentum is building for us to be able to make a clear and concrete difference in the lives of women and girls who are affected by gender-based violence, or who are at risk of violence. We have before us a new opportunity to intensify our efforts and to make effective progress against this global pandemic. Violence against women cannot be relegated to the margins of foreign policy. It cannot be treated solely as a ``women's issue,'' as something that can wait until ``more pressing'' issues are solved. The scale and the scope of this problem make it simultaneously one of the largest and most entrenched humanitarian and development challenges before us. It is also, as you said, also a security issue. When women are attacked as part of a deliberate and coordinated strategy, as they are in Sudan, the DRC, Burma, and as they have been elsewhere around the world, the glue that holds together communities dissolves. Large populations become not only displaced, but destabilized. Around the world, the places that are most dangerous for women also pose the greatest threats to international peace and security. The correlation is clear: Where women are oppressed, governance is weak and extremism is more likely to take hold. As Secretary Clinton has said, you cannot have vibrant civil societies if half the population is left behind. Women's participation is a prerequisite for good governance, for rule of law, for economic prosperity--and gender-based violence and the ever-present threat of violence prevents women's participation in these sectors of society. The violence against women and girls that we are currently seeing is a global pandemic and a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. It affects girls and women at every point in their lives, from sex-selective abortion, which has culled as many as 100 million girls, to withholding adequate nutrition to girls, to FGM, child marriage, rape as a weapon of war, human trafficking, so-called ``honor killings,'' dowry-related murders, and so much more. This violence cannot be explained away as cultural; it is criminal. It is every nation's problem, and it is the cause of mass destruction around the globe. We need a response that is commensurate with the seriousness of the crimes. Violence against women not only destroys the lives of individual girls and women, families, and communities, but it robs the world of the talent it urgently needs. There is a powerful connection between violence against women and the unending cycle of women in poverty. Women who are abused or who fear violence are unable to realize their full potential and contribute to their countries' development. There are enormous economic costs that come with violence against women. In the United States alone, an estimated loss of $1.8 billion in productivity and earnings is associated with gender-based violence on an annual basis. These types of losses are repeated around the world. Ending violence against women is a prerequisite for their social, economic, political participation and progress. Preventing violence against women isn't just the right thing to do; it's also the smart thing to do. Multiple studies from economists, corporations, institutes, and foundations have demonstrated again and again that women are drivers of economic growth, and that investing in women yields enormous dividends. We know from these studies that women reinvest up to 90 percent of their incomes in their families and communities. And yet none of these benefits is possible if women are not free from violence. The global and entrenched nature of gender-based violence presents enormous challenges, and yet we know that progress is possible. In the 4 months since the hearing on gender-based violence in the DRC and Sudan that was chaired by Senators Boxer and Feingold, we've been making a concerted effort toward addressing some of the most urgent aspects of the crisis in the DRC. In August, Secretary Clinton traveled to Goma, and there she met with the NGOs and service providers who were doing Herculean work. She met with MONUC, she went to the camps, she announced $17 million in funding to assist survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the eastern provinces of DRC. The money includes training for the very things that we have been requesting from having providers on the ground, for health care workers and complex fistula repair, for the provision of medical care, counseling, economic assistance, and legal support for women living in the Kivus and other areas. The U.S. Government is dedicating an additional $3 million to recruiting additional police officers, particularly women, and to training them to recognize the protection needs of women and girls and to investigate sexual violence. Since the Secretary's trip, we have sent assessment teams from USAID, from AFRICOM, and from the State Department's technology office. During her visit, she raised a number of very serious issues with the DRC President and others in the leadership of the country, ranging from conflict minerals to the need for accountability, and she demanded the top military commanders who've been implicated in rape be charged and prosecuted. And she underscored the critical need to address impunity. In June, I traveled to Afghanistan to reiterate our support and commitment to women's rights there. Peace, stability, and a better life for the Afghan people cannot and will not occur without the active involvement of women. And during this trip, Ambassador Eikenberry and I announced the start of an Ambassadors Small Grants Program to support women there. The 3- year, $26.3 million program will provide much-needed technical assistance and small grants to women-focused NGOs. We have also been pleased to see the adoption of the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, by decree, in Afghanistan. We hope that this will not just be a gesture--a hollow gesture; we hope it will be implemented and vigorously enforced. Violence against women there continues to be a very serious problem, one that we've repeatedly raised with the government, and we are supporting programs, ranging from women's policing to shelters to judges' training. We've carried this kind of regional momentum forward at this year's United Nations meetings, working within the Security Council to generate more international political will to address violence against women. And, just yesterday, as you mentioned, Senator, Secretary Clinton spoke on behalf of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1888, which was sponsored by the United States and focuses on a more effective response to sexual violence in armed conflict, and which the council unanimously adopted. And, I must say, it was a recommendation that also came out of the subcommittee hearings, when we had them, several months ago. The resolution requests, among other provisions, that the Secretary General appoint a special representative to lead, coordinate, and advocate for efforts to end sexual violence in armed conflict, and also requests the Secretary General to identify and deploy teams of experts to conflict situations where sexual violence is likely to occur in order to help governments strengthen the rule of law, improve accountability, and end impunity. Taken together, these bilateral and multilateral efforts represent some encouraging progress since May. However, they are only--and I stress ``only''--a beginning of what needs to be done. In my written testimony, I describe a number of components that must be present as we develop a comprehensive global strategy to prevent and combat violence against women. We need to understand that violence is not only a very serious women's issue, but one of international human rights and national security. We must ensure that men are active participants in the effort to help us combat violence. And we must ensure that girls have access to the same education as boys, and that they are safe as they travel to and from school while they learn. Education is the only tool we have that can reliably change entrenched attitudes. Mukhtar Mai had been brutally gang-raped in Pakistan, in a horrific case that garnered headlines around the world. She was expected to kill herself for the shame that was brought on her and her family by virtue of what happened to her. Instead, she mustered the courage to take her case to court. And she used the small settlement to build two schools, one for boys and one for girls. And she enrolled herself in the school for girls, because she, herself, was illiterate. She said she did that because nothing would ever change in her village unless there was education. It is fundamental. We need to draw our lessons from those before us who have tried to put an end to violence. From them, we know what hasn't worked, and we know what does. We must put our focus on prevention, on the protection of the victims, and on the prosecution of those who perpetrate these awful crimes. It is time that violence against women became a concern for all of us. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Verveer follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Melanne Verveer, Ambassador at Large, Office of Global Women's Issues, Department of State, Washington, DC I am honored to appear before you this afternoon, in this groundbreaking hearing in full committee, to address one of the most serious global challenges of our time: violence against women. Thank you, Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and distinguished members of the committee for taking the time to address this important issue and for holding this hearing that builds on the May 13 subcommittee hearing, chaired by Senators Boxer and Feingold, on rape as a weapon of the conflict in the DRC and Sudan. The momentum is building for us to be able to make a clear and concrete difference in the lives of women and girls who are affected by gender-based violence or who are at risk of violence. The President, Vice President, and Secretary of State are committed to incorporating women's issues into all aspects of our foreign policy. Just yesterday, Secretary Clinton spoke about this topic in the U.N. Security Council, where a U.S.-sponsored resolution that will more effectively address sexual violence against women in armed conflicts was adopted by unanimous consent. The unprecedented creation of the ``Ambassador at Large'' position to head the State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues demonstrates the administration's deep commitment to women's issues, and preventing and combating violence against women is a top priority for my office. We have before us a new opportunity to intensify our efforts and to make effective progress against this global pandemic. Violence against women cannot be relegated to the margins of foreign policy. It cannot be treated solely as a ``women's issue,'' as something that can wait until ``more pressing'' issues are solved. The scale and the scope of the problem make it simultaneously one of the largest and most entrenched humanitarian and development issues before us; they also make it a security issue. When women are attacked as part of a deliberate and coordinated strategy, as they are in Sudan, the DRC, and Burma, and as they have been in Bosnia, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere around the world, the glue that holds together communities dissolves. Large populations become not only displaced, but destabilized. Around the world, the places that are the most dangerous for women also pose the greatest threats to international peace and security. The correlation is clear: where women are oppressed, governance is weak and terrorists are more likely to take hold. As the Secretary has said, you cannot have vibrant civil societies if half the population is left behind. Women's participation is a prerequisite for good governance, for rule of law, and for economic prosperity--and gender-based violence and the ever-present threat of violence prevents women's participation in these sectors of society. The violence against women and girls that we're currently seeing is a global pandemic. It cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international borders. It affects girls and women at every point in their life, from sex-selective abortion, which has culled as many as 100 million girls, to inadequate health care and nutrition given to girls, to genital mutilation, child marriage, rape as a weapon of war, trafficking, so-called ``honor'' killings, dowry- related murder, and the neglect and ostracism of widows--and this is not an exhaustive list. This violence is not ``cultural''; it is criminal. It is every nation's problem and it is the cause of mass destruction around the globe. We need a response that is commensurate with the seriousness of these crimes. The statistics that tell the extent of this humanitarian tragedy are well-known. One in three women worldwide will experience gender- based violence in her lifetime, and in some countries, this is true for 70 percent of women. A 2006 United Nations report found that at least 102 Member States had no specific laws on domestic violence; others that do have laws too often fail to fully implement or enforce them. The United Nations estimates that at least 5,000 so-called ``honor'' killings take place each year around the world and 2 to 3 million girls and women each year are subjected to genital mutilation. Working from normative projections of sex ratios, we know that there are millions-- some estimate as many as 100 million--girls who are missing from the world because of sex-selective abortion, infanticide, or because they're denied the nutrition and health care they need to survive past the age of 5. In some parts of the world, girls are subject to having acid thrown in their faces when they try to go to school or when they reject suitors. Millions of girls and women are bought and sold as commodities and trafficked into prostitution or purchased as indentured servants or sweatshop workers. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are at least 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor and commercial sexual servitude, and the majority of forced labor victims are women and girls. Around the world, they are the worst-affected by HIV/AIDS, with rape and the fear of relationship violence adding fuel to women's rising infection rate. The problem of violence against women and girls is particularly acute in conflict zones, where legal and social norms fall away and armies and militias act without fear of accountability or judicial penalty. This is especially apparent in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where, by some estimates, more than 5 million people have died since 1998 because of the ongoing conflict. Women and girls have been particularly brutalized, as rapes are perpetrated by security forces and rebel groups and have become pervasive throughout society. Some 1,100 rapes are reported each month in the DRC's eastern provinces, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day. In Burma, which has longstanding internal conflicts with ethnic minorities, women and girls are subject to sexual violence and other forms of assault, including rape by members of the armed forces that targets rural ethnic minority women. The displaced women in Sudan's Darfur region risk rape when they leave camps to collect firewood--rape by some of the same perpetrators that caused their displacement and by other militia and bandits. In refugee camps in eastern Chad and in Kenya, women risk attack by local people protecting their resources as well as by armed groups. Rape is used in conflict situations as a purposeful strategy to subdue and destroy communities, and an atmosphere of impunity prevails. Children in these war-torn areas are especially vulnerable. While boys may be pressed into service as child soldiers and trained to kill, girls are often raped and may be forced to become sex slaves. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, operates in the DRC and Central African Republic and is among the perpetrators of these vicious acts. As the Secretary said before in her opening remarks to the U.N. Security Council on September 30, ``Even though women and children are rarely responsible for initiating armed conflict, they are often war's most vulnerable and violated victims.'' Behind all these statistics are stories of actual people: girls such as Nhkum Hkawn Din, a 15-year-old student in Burma who was allegedly raped and murdered by one or more Burmese soldiers last year. According to Burmese news reports, she was bringing food to her brother in the paddy field where he worked when the soldiers saw her and started following her. Three days later, her clothes and shoes were found alongside the basket she had been carrying. Her body, naked and mutilated, was found 200 meters away from a Burmese Army checkpoint. Or the story of 13-year-old Shan girl, Nang Ung, who was detained by Burmese troops on false charges of being a rebel. According to a 2004 report by the Women's League of Burma (WLB), she was tied up in a tent and raped for 10 days by five to six troops each day. The injuries she sustained from the repeated rapes were so severe that she never recovered. She died a few weeks after she was freed. Or story after story of the rape of women and girls in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In August, I traveled with Secretary Clinton to Goma. The residents of the camp we visited talked about how difficult their lives were each and every day, because the camp provides no real security. If you venture out, as too many of the girls told us, for water or firewood, you put your life at risk. In a Goma hospital, we met a woman who told us that she was 8 months' pregnant when she was attacked. She was at home when a group of men broke in. They took her husband and two of their children and shot them in the front yard, before returning into the house to shoot her other two children. Then they beat and gang-raped her and left her for dead. But she was not dead. She fought for her life and her neighbors managed to get her to the hospital which was 85 kilometers away. In so many of these cases, especially when security forces themselves are involved, no serious legal action is taken against these criminals. These stories represent a humanitarian tragedy. The abuses not only destroy the lives of individual girls and women, families, and communities, but also rob the world of the talent it urgently needs. There is a powerful connection between violence against women and the unending cycle of women in poverty. Women who are abused or who fear violence are unable to realize their full potential and contribute to their countries' development. There are enormous economic costs that come with violence against women. In the United States alone, an estimated loss of $1.8 billion in productivity and earnings is associated with gender based-violence on an annual basis. These types of losses are repeated around the world. Ending violence against women is a prerequisite for their social, economic, and political participation and progress. Girls in Afghanistan cannot get an equal education if they are subject to acid attacks and their schools are burned down. Women can't succeed in the workplace if they are abused and traumatized, nor can they advance if legal systems continue to treat them as less than full citizens. And female politicians can't compete for office on an equal playing field when they receive threatening ``night letters'' or fear for their families' safety. Beyond the tragedy of actual violence, countless other women constrain their lives and withdraw from civil society because of the even larger problem of the ever-present threat of violence. In this way, even beyond the victims, violence controls women's lives. Preventing violence against women isn't just the right thing to do; it's also the smart thing to do. Multiple studies from economists, corporations, institutes and foundations have demonstrated again and again that women are key drivers of economic growth and that investing in women yields enormous dividends. We know from these studies that women reinvest up to 90 percent of their income in their families and communities. And yet none of these benefits are possible unless girls are able to learn without fear and women are able to have autonomy and decisionmaking over their own lives, and those are the very things that violence and the fear of violence take away. The global and entrenched nature of gender-based violence presents enormous challenges. And yet, we know that progress is possible. In the 4 months since Senators Boxer and Feingold chaired a hearing on gender- based violence in the DRC and Sudan, we've been able to take substantial steps toward addressing some of the most urgent crises. In August, the Secretary announced $17 million in funding to assist survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Eastern provinces of the DRC. This assistance will be distributed to organizations across Eastern Congo, and will respond to the crisis in a comprehensive manner. It includes training for health care workers in complex fistula repair, the provision of medical care, counseling, economic assistance, and legal support to women living in North and South Kivu, and other areas. The USG is also dedicating an additional $3 million to recruiting additional police officers, particularly women, and to training them to recognize the protection needs of women and girls and to investigate sexual violence. In addition, the Secretary has raised the issue of impunity at the highest levels of the government, including during her meetings with President Kabila and Prime Minister Muzito. She pressed the DRC government to bring to justice five high-level officers of the DRC military who have either themselves been implicated in violent crimes against women or allowed soldiers within their commands to perpetrate them. All have now been removed from active operational command, and two are in prison, though complete accountability has not yet been achieved. We are also committed to international efforts to regularize the Congolese minerals trade. For too long, armed groups and the DRC military itself have controlled mining operations and illegally exported minerals for their own financial benefit rather than allowing those resources to benefit the Congolese state and its people. More critically, these mining operations have exacerbated the conflict by funding arms and thus further destabilizing the security environment that allows rapes to be committed unchecked. In some cases, those in control of the mines have also directly abused women through forced labor or prostitution. We have also taken a number of steps in Afghanistan over a short period of time. At the request of Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Holbrooke, I traveled to Afghanistan in June to underscore our support and commitment to women's rights. The trip provided an opportunity to deliver the message that the United States understands that progress in Afghanistan must be measured not just in military terms, but also in terms of social, political, and economic participation of women in rebuilding Afghanistan and in the safeguarding of their human rights. Peace, stability, and a better life for the Afghan people cannot and will not occur without the active involvement of women. During this trip, Ambassador Eikenberry and I announced the start of the Ambassador's small grants program to support gender equality in Afghanistan. The 3-year, $26.3 million program will provide technical assistance and small grants to women-focused Afghan NGOs in accordance with the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan. The program will offer flexible, rapid response grants to NGOs that address the needs of Afghan women in the areas of education, health, skills training, counseling on family issues, and public advocacy. My office is working closely with our Embassy in Kabul and colleagues at USAID to ensure that our assistance is well coordinated, addresses the major issues confronted by women and girls, and is sustainable. We are also committed to ensuring that the $150 million allocated for Afghan women and girls in the FY 2009 budget addresses their specific needs at the grassroots level, and are working to ensure that the programs are implemented with specific outcomes to ensure the most impact. We've carried this kind of regional momentum forward at this year's United Nations meetings, where we worked within the Security Council to strengthen international political will to address violence against women and to enact U.N. Security Council Resolution 1888. When governments convened in 2000 to adopt Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, they recognized the critical need not only to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, but also the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, including their equal and full participation in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction. Resolution 1325 provides an important foundation for addressing the empowerment and role of women in peace and security, including peacebuilding. In 2008, building upon the scope of Resolution 1325, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1820. This U.S.-drafted resolution established a clear link between maintaining international peace and security and preventing and responding to sexual violence used as a tactic of war. With the adoption of these two resolutions, the international community recognized that sexual violence is a strategic weapon of armed conflict and, as such, is an urgent matter of international peace and security. As a result, many U.N. peacekeeping mandates--in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan, for example--now include requests for strengthened efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence. However, despite these accomplishments, significant challenges remain. Women are seldom part of peace negotiations and peacebuilding efforts, including post-conflict transitional governments, truth and reconciliation commissions, transitional justice mechanisms and human rights commissions. This year, the Security Council has taken additional steps to improve the U.N.'s response to sexual violence committed during armed conflict. Yesterday, Secretary Clinton spoke on behalf of a U.S.- sponsored resolution focused on sexual violence in armed conflict, which the Council unanimously adopted. The resolution requests, among other provisions, that the Secretary General appoint a Special Representative to lead, coordinate, and advocate for efforts to end sexual violence in armed conflict. The resolution also requests that the Secretary General identify and deploy a team of experts to conflict situations where sexual violence is likely to occur, in order to help governments strengthen the rule of law, improve accountability, and end impunity. The resolution seeks to ensure that future resolutions that establish or renew peacekeeping mandates contain provisions on the prevention of, and response to, sexual violence, and contain reporting requirements to the Security Council. Taken together, these bilateral and multilateral efforts represent significant and encouraging progress since May. However, they are only a beginning. As we look ahead toward a comprehensive international campaign to end violence against women, we must ensure that all of the following are a part of our strategies: (1) First and foremost, we must define this violence not as a women's issue but as one of international human rights and national security. This means that our efforts to prevent and combat violence must go beyond current campaigns aimed primarily at women. Our efforts must recognize that men and women at all levels of society and of all ages have roles to play. Crucially, it also means that our strategies cannot exist purely at the grassroots level. Policymakers and decisionmakers must recognize and take up this issue not only as one that touches on their interests, but as one that is at the heart of their interests and for which they have responsibility. (2) Involvement by international religious leaders of all faiths is critical. In Afghanistan, the United States is supporting a project through local partners working with 844 religious leaders, government officials, media representatives, and civil society members and training them in concepts of human rights within the context of Islam. One local Mullah who attended the first training had initially declared his belief that human rights were a Western ideal, going against the teachings of Islam. After participating in the training, he declared that his views had changed. Since the event, he has often spoken about rights-based issues during Friday prayers. He has a regular 1-hour program on Sharq Television, and has spoken on air about the rights of women, children, and families. (3) Men can and must be a part of the effort to end violence against women. In India,the Father and Daughter Alliance is establishing fathers' associations in slum areas to promote young girls' education through the critical concept of close involvement of the fathers. In the United States, we've had groups such as the ``Man Up Campaign,'' which reaches out to young men to educate and create a discussion about gender-based violence through the use of hip-hop music and sports. On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Man Up will enlist young people at the World Cup in South Africa to commit to being long-term partners of the initiative. A similar U.S.-based organization, ``Men Can Stop Rape,'' has worked for a dozen years with boys and young men to change attitudes about gender roles. This group's well-known publicity campaign ``My Strength Is Not For Hurting'' has featured actors, athletes and U.S. military personnel (in uniform) to send the explicit message that a soldier's role is to protect fellow citizens, not abuse them. The success of these efforts can be replicated elsewhere. (4) Continuing to work toward women's economic empowerment is essential. Beyond the development gains that accrue to countries in which women are active economic participants, women who control their own resources are better-positioned to escape situations of violence. Achieving this goal means identifying and working to remove institutional obstacles to women's economic success, including inequitable land tenure laws and customs as well as those that constrain equal property rights and inheritance. (5) Access to high-quality education is fundamentally important, for both girls and boys. We must ensure that girls not only have access to the same education as boys, but that they are safe as they travel to and from school and while they learn. Education is the only tool we have available that can reliably change entrenched attitudes. When Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped in Pakistan in 2002, on the orders of the tribal council in her rural Pakistani village, her village expected her to commit suicide. But Mukhtar Mai was not an ordinary victim. Instead, this illiterate, brutalized, and shunned woman found the strength to take her case to court. She used the money from her small settlement to build two schools--one for boys and one for girls, in which she enrolled herself. She said nothing in her village would ever change without education. (6) In areas of conflict, the best outcome is a rapid end to strife. We must recognize the collateral damage inflicted on civilian women in regions of protracted conflict, and improve protection for women, prevention of further atrocities, and we must ensure the prosecution of perpetrators, be they soldiers or top commanders. The recent passage of U.S.-sponsored U.N. Security Resolution 1888 is progress, but we must ensure that the new resolution itself is effectively and expeditiously implemented. (7) We must recognize that violence against women flourishes where impunity is the norm. Regions in conflict are particularly vulnerable to judicial breakdown, but impunity can also reign long after conflicts are resolved. In countries such as Guatemala and elsewhere, women are targeted for murder and mutilation because of their sex, and the perpetrators are seldom brought to justice. We know that good laws alone won't ensure that women will be protected. We must work with governments around the world to focus on the implementation of laws and on judicial training in order to ensure an end to impunity. (8) Where programs are working well, we should take them to scale. Tostan, an NGO in Africa, has worked effectively to reduce the practice of FGM--a deeply ingrained practice--by working with both men and women at the village level to confront the harmful effects to the health and well-being of women. Since 1997, Tostan has helped convince 3,792 communities in Senegal, 364 in Guinea, 23 in Burkina Faso, and some in other African countries, to abandon this devastating practice. The effective methods of Tostan are a lesson without borders and can and should be introduced elsewhere. (9) Finally, we need to understand that violence against women is a policy imperative that deserves to be our highest priority. We need to recognize that this problem of violence is, at root, a manifestation of the low status of women and girls around the world. Ending the violence requires elevating their status and freeing their potential to be agents of change in their community. The State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues is deeply committed to implementing these strategies and to building the kinds of partnerships that will allow us to leverage international progress toward our goals. We will address violence against women by promoting the rule of law, enhancing strong criminal and civil justice programs, encouraging implementation of laws, and building public awareness of the benefits of educating girls and providing them with economic opportunity and health care as well as changing societal attitudes. Violence against women is an issue that should concern us all. Women are the key to progress and prosperity in the 21st century. When they are marginalized and mistreated, humanity cannot progress. When they are accorded their rights and afforded equal opportunities in education, health care, employment, and political participation, they lift up their families, their communities, and their nations. The Chairman. Thank you very much, Madam Ambassador. Ambassador Rapp. STATEMENT OF HON. STEPHEN RAPP, AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR WAR CRIMES ISSUES, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, DC Ambassador Rapp. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, I'm honored to appear here before you this afternoon. As you know, this is the first time I'm testifying before a congressional committee as Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, and I'm particularly gratified to be doing so on a subject of central importance to this administration: the need for effective global action to combat violence against women and girls on a global level. My office is responsible for formulating U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of war and civil conflict throughout the world. One of my top priorities is ensuring that, when rape and other forms of violence are committed against women and girls in conflict-related situations, those who are responsible are held to account. By ensuring justice for these crimes, we believe we can have a broader impact on countries torn apart by conflict by reaffirming core values of what is right and what is wrong, in a context where these values have broken down. Prosecutions are also important for victims, recognizing their suffering and publicly holding the perpetrators accountable as criminals. My own work on these issues builds on more than 8 years of experience as an international prosecutor, pursuing justice in cases of mass atrocities. Prior to my service as Ambassador at Large, I served from 2001 through the end of 2006 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the ICTR, leading prosecution teams in the trials of individuals who were alleged to have been responsible for the genocide in Rwanda. These trials brought forth testimony from the survivors of one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century: the murder of an estimated 800,000 human beings in only 100 days in 1994. And, as the evidence developed, it became clear that these murders were accompanied by premeditated massive sexual violence against women and girls. As the pregenocide campaign of propaganda had denigrated Tutsi women, as a means to marginalize the ethnic group, the rape of Tutsi women became a means to destroy the Tutsi people. In its first case, the ICTR convicted Taba Commune Mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu of rape as a crime against humanity. But, of even greater significance, it held that when other elements of the crime are present, rape itself can be an act of genocide. During my tenure, we worked to meet the challenge of prosecuting higher level leaders for this widespread sexual violence. I'm proud that one of the cases that I investigated recently resulted in a conviction at the ICTR of a high-level leader, both for rape as a crime against humanity and rape as a war crime. That's the case of Tharcisse Renzaho, the former prefect of Kigali-ville, essentially the most powerful Governor in Rwanda in 1994. These convictions were based on his knowledge of sexual violence by those under his control, and his failure to act to prevent or punish their conduct. In December 2006, I was appointed chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Special Court was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to try those bearing the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed between 1996 and 2002, during a period of civil war in that country. Civilians, not soldiers, were the prime targets during the conflict in Sierra Leone. Thousands were mutilated, most commonly with amputations of hands and arms. Tens of thousands were murdered. And hundreds of thousands of women and girls were sexually violated. These rapes were sometimes accompanied by murders, mutilations, or other acts of violence. But they overwhelmed all other crimes in their sheer magnitude. The widespread and systematic nature of rape showed that the sexual violence was not isolated conduct by out-of-control combatants, but, instead, the dominant tactic for terrorizing, punishing, and gaining power over the population. At the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Office of the Prosecutor placed the highest priority on investigating and charging crimes of sexual violence and in developing the international humanitarian law that defines these defenses. In February 2009, we won the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity, as you indicated, Mr. Chairman. This latter crime had never been recognized before we included it in our indictment as an inhumane act of equal gravity to recognized crimes against humanity. We also achieved the first convictions against leaders of armed groups for crimes of sexual violence committed by persons acting with them as part of a common scheme or plan. With our successful convictions, we sent a signal that those who use sexual violence as a strategy of conflict risk prosecution and punishment. But the seriousness of that risk depends upon the strength of the justice system that has jurisdiction over these crimes. And despite some gains, sexual violence committed in conflict zones is rarely prosecuted locally. The United Nations estimates approximately 40 women are raped each day, as we speak, just in the Democratic Republic of Congo's small eastern province of South Kivu, often by members of the military. However, in spite of these alarming numbers, Human Rights Watch has reported that, in 2008, only 27 soldiers were convicted for crimes of rape and sexual violence. Of course, another message of this number is that it is possible to accomplish justice for sexual violence, even in a zone of ongoing conflict. And we must look first to national systems to try those responsible. The local level is the preferred approach because it is justice by and among those most affected by the violence. In situations where states may need additional support or capacity to provide justice, we need to work with these governments and other members of the international community to find and fund ways to enhance or build the state's domestic capacity to ensure justice. Still, there may be situations, as Secretary Clinton said yesterday in her speech before the U.N. Security Council, where more internationalized mechanism is needed, as well. Moving forward, the United States should aim to be proactive in preventing violence against women and girls perpetrated in these conflict zones before it happens. Under the ADVANCE Democracy Act of 2007, the Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, among others, now assists the President in collecting information regarding ongoing incidents that may violate international humanitarian law. And I'm deeply committed to upholding my responsibility in this area so that the United States can recognize and report early warning signs, as you mentioned in Guinea, which is a significant component to preventing widespread atrocities against women and girls before the violence reaches epidemic levels. My colleague, Ambassador Verveer, spoke of Secretary Clinton's remarks yesterday at the Security Council and of the successful passage, unanimously, of Security Council Resolution 1888. It called attention to the horrific acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls in situations of armed conflict, strengthening the United Nation's ability to respond to this violence. And I would single out, in particular, the fact that the establishment of these teams of experts, upon which we look to participate and look upon our allies to participate, so that we can work to develop a strategy for restoring the rule of law, improving the judicial systems, ensuring fair trial standards, security, and witness protections, and monitor the implementation of Resolution 1888 and the earlier resolutions, 1325 and 1820, to work with governments to help them take measures to end sexual violence and conflict and improve accountability. My colleague, Ambassador Verveer, and I look forward to utilizing our offices to raise awareness of violence against women and girls and to restore the rule of law and accountability in conflict zones. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, once again I want to thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued leadership on these difficult and important issues. And pleased, of course, to answer any of your questions. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Rapp follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Stephen J. Rapp, Ambassador at Large, Office of War Crimes Issues, Department of State, Washington, DC Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and distinguished members of the committee, I am honored to appear before you this afternoon. As you know, this is the first time I am testifying before a congressional committee as Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, and I am particularly gratified to do so on a subject that is of central importance to this administration--the need for effective action to combat violence against women and girls on a global level. As Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, I am responsible for formulating U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of war and civil conflict throughout the world. One of my top priorities is ensuring that when rape and other forms of violence are committed against women and girls in conflict-related situations, those who are responsible for perpetrating these heinous acts are held accountable. By ensuring justice for these crimes, we believe we can have a broader impact on countries torn apart by conflict by reaffirming core values of what is ``right'' and what is ``wrong'' in a context where these values have broken down. Prosecutions are also important for victims, recognizing their suffering and publicly holding the perpetrators accountable as criminals. While trials alone cannot end widespread violence, they can play an important part in reestablishing the rule of law in an environment of insecurity and impunity. As part of a comprehensive strategy, prosecuting those who commit acts of violence against women and girls in conflict-related situations can help restore the stability that is necessary for individuals, families, communities, and nations to develop and prosper. My own work on these issues builds upon more than 8 years of experience as an international prosecutor pursuing justice in cases of mass atrocities. Prior to my service as Ambassador at Large, I served from 2001 through 2006 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) leading prosecution teams in the trials of individuals who were alleged to have been responsible for genocide in Rwanda. These trials brought forth testimony from survivors of one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century, the murder of an estimated 800,000 human beings in only 100 days in 1994. As the evidence developed, it became clear that these murders were accompanied by premeditated massive sexual violence against women and girls. As the pregenocide propaganda had denigrated Tutsi women as a means to marginalize the ethnic group, the rape of Tutsi women became a means to destroy the Tutsi population. Before my arrival to the ICTR, the court convicted Taba Commune Mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu of rape as a crime against humanity, and of even greater significance held that, when other elements of the crime are present, rape itself can be an act of genocide. But it soon became clear that ending impunity for such crimes would be a challenging task. The ICTR found Akayesu guilty of inciting men to commit rapes of women when those rapes were committed at Akayesu's own townhall. However, as the trials of other leaders continued, we discovered that it was very difficult to obtain a conviction for a leader who commanded or incited his followers to commit acts of sexual violence unless the leader either committed the crimes or witnessed them in his immediate presence. It took further investigations and recast indictments, but we were able to meet this challenge. I am proud that one of the cases I investigated and indicted was recently convicted by ICTR for rape as a war crime and a crime against humanity: Tharcisse Renzaho, the former prefect of Kigali-ville and essentially the most powerful governor in Rwanda in 1994. These convictions were based on his knowledge of sexual violence by those under his control and his failure to act to prevent or punish their conduct. In December 2006, I was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations in 2002 to try those bearing the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed between 1996 and 2002 during a period of civil war in that country. Civilians, not soldiers, were the prime targets during the conflict in Sierra Leone. Thousands were mutilated, most commonly with amputations of hands and arms, tens of thousands were murdered, and hundreds of thousands were sexually violated. The rapes were sometimes accompanied by murders, mutilations, or other acts of violence, but they overwhelmed all other crimes in their sheer magnitude. The widespread and systematic nature of rape showed that sexual violence was not isolated conduct by out-of-control combatants, but instead the dominant tactic for terrorizing, punishing, and gaining power over the population. The same pattern of violence targeting women and girls in Rwanda and Sierra Leone has also been seen during conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Liberia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). All too often, rape has been used as an effective tool in breaking down societal ties, impacting entire communities for generations. Unfortunately, all too often victims of sexual violence are stigmatized and shunned by their own husbands, fathers and brothers. Many rape survivors are exiled from their own homes, tearing apart the ties that bind families and communities. Of course, beyond the initial attack, there are also long-term psychological, physical, and economic consequences to the individual and the community. Given the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, there is an increased risk of death and debilitation for women and girls long after the attack. Women often provide the backbone of a community--raising the children, tending the hearth, tilling the fields. When women are in peril, the entire community suffers. At the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Office of the Prosecutor placed the highest priority on investigating and charging crimes of sexual violence and in developing the international humanitarian law that defines these offenses. In February 2009, we won the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity. This latter crime had never been recognized before we included it in our indictment as an ``inhuman act'' of equal gravity to recognized crimes against humanity. We also achieved the first convictions against leaders of an armed group for crimes of sexual violence by persons acting with them as part of a common scheme or plan. These convictions recognized that the victimization of women and girls can be a horrific part of a leadership's overall military strategy to terrorize a population. With our successful convictions, we sent a signal that those who use sexual violence as a strategy of conflict risk prosecution and imprisonment. We have seen the results that ending impunity can have in healing a broken society and building gender equality. Rwanda, a country plagued by widespread and systematic gender-based violence only 15 years ago, is now the first country where female legislators outnumber male legislators in Parliament. Despite some gains, sexual violence committed in conflict zones is rarely prosecuted locally. The United Nations estimates approximately 40 women are raped each day just in the DRC's eastern province of South Kivu, where members of the DRC military, Congelese militia groups, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have raped and victimized local women and girls with absolute impunity. However, in spite of these alarming numbers, Human Rights Watch has reported that in 2008 only 27 soldiers were convicted for crimes of rape and sexual violence. Silence is acceptance and as Secretary Clinton has stated, the United States ``will not tolerate this continuation of wanton, senseless, brutal violence perpetrated against girls and women.'' We are committed to ending impunity for the perpetrators of such horrific acts and ensuring that those who commit sexual and gender based violence crimes in conflict-related situations are prosecuted. In my new position, I will build upon the work the Office of War Crimes has accomplished in supporting and engaging multiple international tribunals and governments around the world. I will continue to fight for accountability and justice for those employing these brutal strategies against women and girls. In pursuing accountability, we will first look to the states themselves to try those responsible and to end the impunity gap. This is the preferred approach: justice by and among those most affected by violence. In situations where states may need additional support or capacity to provide justice, we will work together with those governments and other members of the international community to examine ways to enhance or build a state's domestic capacity to ensure justice. Still, there may be situations where a more internationalized mechanism is needed as well. I will continually examine the range of accountability options, always seeking proceedings where due process and fairness will be guaranteed but that are also as accessible as possible to the victims and affected communities. An integral aspect of accountability is ensuring that women and girls who have been victimized by these crimes are respected and protected by the justice system. Victims or witnesses of these crimes may be intimidated by direct or perceived threats of violence or by fear of stigmatization from reporting these crimes or testifying against the perpetrators in a public setting. We need to work with local governments and NGOs to provide protection and services that combat physical, social, and psychological barriers to justice. Moving forward, the United States should aim to be proactive in preventing violence against women and girls perpetrated in conflict zones. Under the ADVANCE Democracy Act of 2007, the Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, among others, now assists the President in collecting information regarding incidents that may violate international humanitarian law. I am deeply committed to upholding my responsibility in this area so that the United States can recognize and report early warning signs, which is a key component in preventing widespread atrocities against women and girls before the violence reaches epidemic levels. Secretary Clinton has demonstrated her deep commitment to these concerns as well. On September 30, the Secretary addressed the United Nations Security Council urging the support of a U.S.-introduced Security Council resolution on sexual violence in conflict. The proposed resolution seeks to implement Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008), which calls attention to the horrific acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls in situations of armed conflict and strengthens the United Nation's ability to respond to this violence. The resolution requests the Secretary General (SYG) appoint a Special Representative to lead, coordinate, and advocate for efforts to end violence against women and girls during conflict-related situations. It also requests the SYG to establish a team of experts--which will include experts in the rule of law, judicial systems, fair trial standards, security, and witness protection--to monitor implementation of resolution 1820 and to work with governments to help them take measures to end sexual violence in conflict and improve accountability. My colleague, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, and I look forward to utilizing our offices to raise awareness of violence against women and girls and to restore rule of law and accountability in conflict zones plagued by these serious atrocities. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, once again I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued leadership on these difficult and important issues. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. The Chairman. Well, thanks very much, Mr. Ambassador. I'm not going to delay you all with a lot of questions, but one I would like to--a couple I'd like to ask--one, How do you--strategically, sort of--as you approach this issue and think about your roles, what's the methodology or leverage strategy for dealing with the violence that emanates from religious, either, extremism and/or deviation from legitimate dogma as a lot of this gets wrapped up in a kind of religious cloak in certain places, and I wonder if you'd help us think that through just for a moment. Ambassador Verveer. Well, certainly I think one of the places to look is to what women are doing in places where what you just described may be taking place. And one of the things that has happened in recent years is, for example, in predominantly Muslim countries, where extremists have hijacked the religion, and basically validated forms of oppression to say that it was somehow consistent with the values of the religion, that is now being challenged very significantly, particularly by women, but also by others within the religions, to really say, ``No, this has--this is not in concert with what we believe, these are not our values, our religion does not condone this kind of oppression and violence.'' And they are fighting back with really strategic ways, and bringing others into their orbit. Mullahs in the community have, for example, in Afghanistan, inserted these issues into the Friday prayer services to talk about why violence cannot be condoned. But, I think, you're right, these are very much entrenched, often culturally, and often in the name of religion, but not, obviously, appropriate to what the religious beliefs are. And so, the response has to come, often, in ways that can appeal to people who find themselves in those situations. I would also add that obviously this is a matter of universal human rights. Every woman knows, no matter what she believes, no matter what God she prays to, no matter where she lives, that deep inside her, she deserves respect, and there's nothing that can justify abusing her. So we are finding ways, but I think those ways are most often the lessons learned from the places that are dealing with them, and the kind of support that we can bring to those people, particularly women on the front lines, who are the voices of moderation and are leading many of the civil society efforts to go at this very problem. Ambassador Rapp. If I might add to that, having spent 8\1/ 2\ years in Africa, often with people of a variety of religions, I think the key is that we need to partner with groups in the communities that are affected. In my experience, the best justice has been one in which we form an institution that has people from all cultures and backgrounds. And we find that people share the very same values; there's no religion that condones violence and murder and rape. And we work with the people in those societies that are carrying this fight; we help reinforce it, but we work to reflect their values at the same time as we support universal ones. The Chairman. In Iraq and Pakistan and Afghanistan, obviously, you have three countries that are very key to our national security interests, but also three countries with communities that suffer large-scale violence against women and--distinct gender imbalances. Are you satisfied with the efforts--and perhaps you can describe them--that are being made to ensure that our outreach toward civilian development will include, as a goal, the strengthening of women's status in those places? I know we just had the go-round on the issue with President Karzai and the law that was passed, but let's go beyond that a little bit, generically. Ambassador Verveer. Well, Senator, obviously I don't think any of us can ever say that we're completely satisfied, but we are making a great effort on this issue, particularly in terms of the very severe challenges that we confront in Afghanistan and Iraq, for example. And one of the things that we have done internally is put together a team, working very closely with all aspects of Afghan policy, that Ambassador Holbrooke is leading, as well as with our team in Kabul. And when it comes to assistance programs now, we are actually working very closely together with AID, with all the other actors, in a very concerted way to look at these various-- these very issues and how we are implementing them and really creating the kind of measurable outcomes we all want to see. The Chairman. Well, that's--go ahead. Ambassador Verveer. And the same thing is happening with respect to Iraq. We are working very closely with our Ambassador there, who is in charge of the assistance programs, and, in fact, our office is overseeing some specific grants that deal with women in these situations. The Chairman. And how are you finding the, sort of, internal response to that? I know that, in the past, women's issues have been relegated to the sidelines. And I know that, even though you've made it more central to the policy--and we applaud you for that--there's a certain, you know, turf warfare, slash, compartmentalized programming, and even attitudinal barrier that you have to get over. Are there any tools that you need that we could perhaps help with to effect change? Are there specific diplomatic efforts that we could help to engender, here? What do you think? That's my last question. Ambassador Verveer. Well, Senator, I do think that strong leadership comes from the top, and certainly Secretary Clinton has--and the President--have both expressed the importance of these issues, and have acted on them. Certainly in terms of developing a very strategic, comprehensive, governmentwide effort to go at all aspects of this, from domestic violence to violence against women in conflict, it, we--obviously, the kinds of things that you and the committee are looking at, in terms of enhanced structures and enhanced staff and resources, what you opened this hearing with, in terms of your own statement, would obviously make a huge difference in keeping this going forward. I think we're very much on the right track. The Chairman. Good. Ambassador Verveer. And we're trying to do all that we can to integrate these issues more effectively. The Chairman. Well, we appreciate it. And it's already a step forward just to have the two of you here and to have your position in the State Department. We appreciate it very much. Senator Boxer. Senator Boxer. Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for your leadership on this issue. We appreciate it so much. Your agreeing to broaden the subcommittee to look at this was so important, and I think Ambassador Verveer really took what you did seriously, and so did Secretary Clinton. And we are so grateful, both to you, Mr. Chairman, and to Secretary Clinton, because they're already taking more steps than I've seen in years, and it means a great deal to so many. I think what my chairman has pointed out is that this issue of violence against women worldwide, it really turns into a national security issue for us, because, if you look in these countries where women are so abused, these countries are unstable, they're weak, and the basic family unit is so disrupted that it makes it difficult for civil society to really function. I wanted to ask you a few questions about the steps you've already taken. And I'm so pleased about them. You talked about your trip, Ambassador, to the Democratic Republic of Congo with Secretary Clinton. And it really did a lot to raise awareness. It was all over American television. I was just so pleased. As you know, the situation is dire. And you saw it firsthand. And, according to the Department of State, approximately 1,100 rapes are being reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped each and every day. And these numbers don't come close to telling the whole story, because experts tell us that rape is underreported, because of the stigma surrounding it. I thought what Secretary Clinton said yesterday is worth repeating. She said, ``The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn't just harm a single individual or a single family, or even a single village or a single group, it sheds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.'' I think that's a very moving statement. You testified, at a hearing, that I chaired with Senator Feingold, on sexual violence in the DRC and Sudan, back in May, and, as you know, we've sent a followup letter. And you have worked so quickly, along with the Secretary, to implement these initiatives, including yesterday's announcement, and your repeat of that announcement today, that there would be a new special representative to help end sexual violence against women and children in conflict zones. The reason this is so key is because, Mr. Chairman, with this special representative named--and they haven't named one quite yet, but when that person is named--we will have one place to go. This is so important, because the easiest way to dodge this issue is to say, you know, ``Go see him.'' And, you know, you turn around, and there's nobody responsible. This is a big deal. This is important. And we also asked that the United States work to train doctors to treat fistula patients, as well as to help establish all-female police units, and you are following through. You talked about--and on this trip, the Secretary talked about--the $17 million package to tackle these and other issues. So I have these questions. What specific plans have been made to distribute these funds? Have any of the funds been allocated already? How does the State Department plan to track how effectively they're spent? Ambassador Verveer. Thank you for that, Senator Boxer. Of the amount that she announced, $7 million was awarded to the IRC, specifically to deal with sexual gender-based violence in the Kivus. It will expand service delivery, build local capacity through medical training, and promote community reintegration, also work on economic empowerment programs, particularly through Women for Women, and targets some several thousands of women and girls specifically in the area in which we focused in the last hearing. Five million of--of the $10 million supplemental that was just received by the mission on September 28, $5 million of this is going to be applied to existing needs that have been documented, and $5 million will be distributed in new awards. We are providing increased support for training for fistula repair. And we have sent these assessment teams that I mentioned. Both USAID has been there on the ground, talking to folks at Panzi Hospital, at HEAL Africa, and other providers, for what they specifically need and what can be addressed and how we can work more collaboratively. Senator Boxer. Hey, I'm just cutting you off only because I have to ask you one more question. So we'll get that from you in writing so we can know exactly where the funds are going. Ambassador Verveer. Yes. [The written response of Ambassador Verveer follows:] Below please find an update on the $17 million SGBV package that the Secretary announced on her recent trip to the DRC: USAID recently awarded $7 million to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) for SGBV programming in North and South Kivu. The Espoir (``Hope'') Project will expand SGBV service delivery, train health care providers to serve as community SGBV focal points and support treatment at more than 65 local health care facilities, and promote community reintegration/livelihood training throughout the region. IRC will work with Women for Women International, several local NGOs, and more than 40 women-led community based organizations to carry out women's empowerment activities, economic strengthening and reinsertion activities, medical and legal referral, psychosocial care, and awareness raising. USAID received $10 million in FY09 supplemental funding on September 28. Of this funding, $3.75 million will go to support preexisting, successful programs throughout eastern DRC, including funding to the Coooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) and the IRC. COOPI is working in the Ituri District of the Orientale Province and in Maniema province with 24,000 SGBV survivors to address medical and psychosocial needs. The COOPI program transports a Dutch surgeon to perform fistula surgeries and train Congolese surgeons in fistula repair. An additional $6.25 million will be distributed in new awards. In November, USAID will solicit proposals from the NGO community for competitive awards using the supplemental funds. The new awards will address SGBV needs particularly in areas such as psychosocial treatment, economic empowerment, medical services, legal aid, and communication for behavior change and awareness-raising. These programs will be targeted toward survivors in more remote, hard-to-access areas, and designed to build on community awareness, prevention, and advocacy activities, both at the grassroots and national levels, focusing on community behavior change. I would like to reiterate that the U.S. Government, through USAID, fully intends to begin training additional medical service providers in Goma to treat women that require fistula repair, among other services needed for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. I will be sure to keep you fully informed of the developments surrounding the administration of these funds, as well as the concrete outcomes that result from our efforts. I look forward to continue working with you to address the pressing needs of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Senator Boxer. So, my last question, I recently read a heartbreaking article posted on CNN about a 12-year-old girl in Ethiopia who was forced into marriage with a 24-year-old man. She died after struggling in labor for 3 days, and the baby died, too. If impregnating a 12-year-old is not an act of violence against a child, I don't know what is. According to the International Center for Research on Women, there are 51 million married girls in the world today, and if nothing changes, another 100 million will be married within a decade. In countries such as Chad, Niger, and Bangladesh, the marriage rate for children under 18 is 70 percent. As you know, this has terrible implications for these young girls. According to the U.N. Population Fund, early marriage often halts a girl's education in its tracks; it increases maternal and infant mortality rates, as well as increasing the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. What is the United States currently doing to raise this issue of forced child marriage? Ambassador Verveer. This issue has come up, regrettably, too many times. I can tell you the Secretary has raised it in her bilateral meetings. But, what we need to continue to do, and are doing in an ongoing way, is persuade countries to raise the age of marriage. This should not happen to any child--and also, we're working to find ways to ensure that children get to school and are safe in school. Girls who get an education are in situations where child marriage ceases to be the kind of problem you just described. So, we've got to do a lot more to address some of the root causes. I have heard of some very innovative programs, recently, where children--girls 10, 11, 12 years old--were given small amounts to buy a cow, for example, and can keep going to school while supporting her family. One child, for example, her father came to her and said, ``I have selected someone for you to be married to,'' and she said, ``No, I'm not getting married.'' And he said, ``No, you are getting married,'' and she said, ``Well, if I'm getting married, I'm taking the cow.'' And he said, ``No, the cow belongs to us.'' And, in the end, she prevailed, because she had some worth in his eyes. She had a cow. And that education has to be made to be seen as worth. And we're doing a lot to incentivize families to send their girls to school, and other ways in which we can make the girl worth something that she is in every respect, but not always in the eyes of her family. Ambassador Rapp. If I might add, just, to that these ``forced marriage of children'' violate the laws of almost every state, they violate regional and international covenants. I was pleased, recently in visiting Nigeria, that the ECOWAS court dealing with human rights in West Africa rendered a judgment against a child marriage that had happened in Niger. And what is really important, I think, in our diplomatic efforts, is we want to urge people to enforce these standards that are in their laws and that are in their covenants, and make sure that they mean something in the lives of girls like this one. The Chairman. Thank you very much. Ambassador Verveer. If I could just follow up on that, one second. I think Ambassador Rapp has touched on something that is a real problem, and not just with child marriage, and, that is, laws are passed--we have so many laws on the books now, in terms of violence against women--but we have got to ensure that those laws are implemented and enforced, and that is a big problem. The Chairman. Thank you very much, Ambassador. Senator Kaufman. Senator Kaufman. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for holding this historic hearing. It wasn't that many years ago that we sat down in then- Senator Biden's office to talk about violence against women. As Ambassador Verveer knows, it was a very small group. And anyone who thinks that we can't have change should be sitting in this room and see how far we've come on violence against women in such a short time. I mean, it really is an incredible example of how, if enough people get behind what is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good idea, you can do just about anything. We're talking about an International Violence Against Women Act. Can you--you know, I don't want you to get in detail or any of the rest of that, but what are the--kind of, the major elements, from each one of you, that you think you should be in any kind of International Violence Against Women Act--the one, kind of, indispensable things? Ambassador Verveer. Well, obviously we need a structure to ensure the effectuation within government in ways that really help us to advance the ball. The caliber and extent of our development programs, and how they go to address an overall comprehensive plan, is critical. And then, I think, in the nature of the security issues, particularly, working with the defense establishments and others, and the security arms of the United Nations, what has been advanced needs to go in a more concerted effort, and we need to utilize the tools that are becoming available, and we need to, obviously, ensure the political will. But, I would say, coming together in a way that is comprehensive, that involves all the key major players, will take us to that next place, Senator. Senator Kaufman. Ambassador Rapp. Ambassador Rapp. We've been talking, earlier today, about what's happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 36 to 40 rapes a day, the, thus far, inadequate response. And it's important that funding be authorized to improve those judicial processes there, to provide for prosecutors and police, and defense to be able to process those cases, and, if necessary, to take it up a level and even involve international personnel, from our country and from other countries, to partner there, to join and be parts of those institutions; not to control them, but to be with them. That, I think, is critical if we're going to take up our response to the level that'll be effective against this epidemic of sexual violence in that part of the world, and to respond to other situations as they occur. Senator Kaufman. You know, one of the things--we always talk about ``that part of the world.'' I was struck, during the problems in the Balkans, of--it was clear--it was clear that people decided to use rape as a way to advance their political agenda. And, it's--am I--it seems to me that that is becoming more and more commonplace, no matter what continent we're on, in terms of--about it--Africa always is the place that people point to, but the fact that it's in Bosnia, the fact that it's in other places, I just wonder, could you talk a little bit about that--in order to try to figure out how we can stop this? Ambassador Rapp. Absolutely. It was part of the ethnic cleansing, part of the way in which certain individuals sought to get their way in order to displace populations. I'm reminded of particularly horrendous testimony in the case of one of the individuals, recently convicted at the ICTY, who raped a woman and then--in front of her children--asked her to pick a knife from the kitchen. She did, and then he used that to kill her children, and then left her to live. Those kinds of things happened during that conflict. And we know it was the action of the prosecution at the Yugoslavia Tribunal in bringing the Foca case, involving the widespread rape in prison camps, that resulted in the first conviction in Europe for rape as a war crime. And, to some extent, I think a lot of us who saw that recognize that, in the past, these things may have happened, and they weren't recognized. Senator Kaufman. Yes. Ambassador Rapp. And that was a wake-up call, and people sort of opened their eyes to rape in conflict, which has always been there. But, I think it's also true that the amount of rape that's occurring, particularly in civil conflicts, is increasing. It's shown itself to be an effective tool for terrorizing populations, for displacing people, for humiliating a particular ethnic group; to some extent, for functional uses, creating bush wives for the rebel leaders and the rebels themselves, that they're rewarded for what they're doing. I mean, there's that aspect of it. But, we really are, when we look at situations like Sierra Leone, into a situation where it is so much more dangerous to be a civilian woman in a conflict zone than it is to be a soldier, quite a difference from, say, the conflict in World War I. So, I think it is getting worse. And, as it becomes worse, it behooves us, I think, to crank up our response. The legal tools are there. The laws are internationally recognized, to criminalize this kind of conduct. The theories for holding leaders responsible, when its part of a strategy or common scheme or plan, we won; now we have to have those laws enforced by the courts, from top to bottom. Senator Kaufman. Great. I want to thank you both for everything you do. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you, Senator Kaufman. There are a lot more questions, but, because of the timeframe this afternoon--and I, unfortunately, have to chair a meeting with the President of Somalia, who is coming in, and we need to talk to him, so I don't want to--maybe Senator Kaufman can, you know, continue the process. But, we have another panel, and I want to make sure we have time for everybody to be able to be heard. Is there anything that you feel any of the questions have left unsaid or prompted you to want to say before we do move to the next panel? I want to make sure you have a chance to--if there's anything that you think you'd like to use as a wrap-up, or---- Ambassador Verveer. I would just reiterate that, obviously, the magnitude of this challenge is one that's not to be underestimated. And for us to continue to do the kind of serious work that has been started, and the aspects of it that Ambassador Rapp described, we are going to need a real concerted effort across our government, with resources and the kinds of other elements that will make it possible. The Chairman. Well, we'll give you all the support that we can. One thing I would say to both of you--I mean, I think the legal steps you took are superb. And we have to be prepared-- and we can do this. I mean, you know, we have to--we have to exert the moral, value-based leadership that is essential to carrying this into the international fora, where we can press this. And, I think, just the fact that we do that will create a consciousness and begin to have an impact on behavior. It's not going to change it all over night, we all understand that. But we've got to press legal avenues, where we can. You know, we've got to hold leaders accountable, where these, you know, so- called ``generals'' in some parts of the world run amok in their rebel efforts or other efforts, they just seem to, you know, go off, with the exception of the--Charles Taylor and, you know, that sort of prosecution. I think that if the global community were to prove itself a little more effective and united in trying to press some of these causes--but, of course, we have some big countries, who are important to some other choices, who are always afraid that somehow this may turn around and come back. And we understand that dynamic full well. Nevertheless, we have to press forward. And I'm confident, Madam Ambassador--I know you and I know your boss are deeply dedicated to this, so we'll look forward to keeping--keep it on moving. Senator Kaufman. Can I say one thing? The Chairman. Absolutely. Senator Kaufman. Mr. Chairman, I couldn't agree more. And I also think--something that our chairman's been a leader on, and that is maintaining the moral--United States maintaining the moral high ground. I mean, this is absolutely key. I mean, we had a lot of discussions about a lot of individual issues, and I think there've been periods in our past when kind of saying the moral thing or the right thing to do was kind of like, ``Oh,'' you know, ``you just don't get it. It's not real politik. This is the way we have to do it. That's not the way you do these kind of things.'' But, this is a perfect example of, as I say, the chairman's leadership in maintaining the moral high ground on a whole series of issues, that have nothing to do with these specific issues, but maintain, once more, America is the city on the hill that everybody aspires to. And I think it's only by maintaining this moral leadership that we can deal with these issues that are cultural, in many cases, and legal, and getting other people to rally around. They want us to do this. I am absolutely convinced. I've traveled all over the world. They want America to be the moral leader, to lead on these kinds of things. So, I think, you're right on point here, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Thank you very much, Senator Kaufman. I wish I was, as usual. But, anyway--I have to say that that there are times when you just--you read these stories of--I mean, that story of what happened in Afghanistan, of that couple who are, you know, killed because they love each other, and they cross some line, and it's just--you know, it just chills you. And there are so many stories like--I mean, it doesn't matter--there are so many parts of the world where that's an everyday occurrence. So, we do have to speak out. This is at the core of our DNA, if you will, and we shouldn't turn our backs on it. So, thank you for being here today. We really appreciate it very, very much. If we could, sort of, smoothly move the second panel up as quickly as possible, with as low a disruptive level, that'd be terrific, and we will continue on while I introduce them. The Honorable Donald Steinberg is the deputy president of the International Crisis Group, former Ambassador to Angola. Ambassador Steinberg has a long history of diplomatic service in Africa. He's an expert on peace negotiations and prevention of armed conflict. He currently advises a number of organizations that advocate on behalf of women in humanitarian conflict settings. Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert has served several United Nations peacekeeping missions, including Cambodia, Bosnia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, and he was the force commander for MONUC in the eastern division of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He's an expert on international peace and security, civil/ military cooperation, and peace support operations, peacekeeping, and security-sector reform. Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta is the president of the International Center on Research on Women, ICRW, an advocacy organization that conducts research and advocates for evidence-based practical ways to change policies and programs on gender equality in the developing world. And Dr. Rao Gupta is a leading expert on women's role in development programs. And Ms. Esta Soler is the founder and president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. For the past 30 years, her organization has developed innovative strategies to prevent domestic dating and sexual violence, and was a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women's Act of 1994. And, if I may be a tiny bit parochial for a moment, or semiparochial, a friend of mine, and a hero to many people in Massachusetts and around the country, who works with Esta Soler's organization is--this is an organization that works with--focusing on men and boys, and creating a positive role model for boys to respect girls and women, and say no to violence against them. And she--I know she's proud of this fact, but, M.L. Carr, formerly of the Boston Celtics, is here with us. He's the towering fellow seated up there. M.L., why don't you stand up, there? There you go. Thank you. All right. [Applause.] The Chairman. And I want to note that today M.L. was supposed to be receiving an award from his college in Alabama, but he dropped everything in order to come here for this hearing. And he believes--he works with this effort, in reducing violence against girls. And I really appreciate you coming up here, M.L. Thanks so much. It means a lot to everybody. So, on that note, if we could--Major General, if we could start with you, and run down the line, that'd be terrific. Thank you. If you all could summarize your testimonies, your full statements will be placed in the record as if read in full, and that gives us a little time to chat. STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. PATRICK CAMMAERT, FORMER MILITARY ADVISER TO THE U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL, FORMER U.N. FORCE COMMANDER FOR THE EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, NEW YORK, NY General Cammaert. I'll keep it within 5 minutes, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Sounds good to me. General Cammaert. Thank you, Chairman Kerry and all the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for inviting me here today and taking the time to talk about this important issue. My name is Patrick Cammaert, and I retired in 2007 as a major general, after 39 years in service. Operating in conflict zones have been large parts of my career. Most importantly during the years, I served with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, DPKO. I have witnessed that violence directed at women and girls can be a particularly potent tool of war. The weapon of rape may be less exposed than those of nuclear missiles or bombs, but being cheaper than bullets and more silent than bombs makes it the tactic of choice for rebel groups. In the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I have seen the perpetrators of these crimes: Armed groups, rebels, and, many times, members of the government, army, and police. I have also seen the victims, women and girls, sometimes as young as 9, whose insides were blown apart by rifle blasts. The level of brutality is shocking, even by the twisted standards of a place haunted by warlords and drug- crazed child soldiers. I will never forget the three girls we found in the vicinity of an internally displaced people camp, naked. A group of militias had raped them in front of their family, before killing their parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. The girls pretended to be dead, and survived. We covered them with our T-shirts. It was the least we could do for them. Sexual violence has been identified as a tactic of modern warfare in several conflicts, most importantly in the eastern part of the DRC and in Darfur. It is also identified as a war crime, a crime against humanity, and form of genocide. But, recognition has not been a very effective deterrent. This form of atrocity continues. And, if anything, is intensifying in brutality and frequency. Violence against women--in particular, sexual violence--has special characteristics that have kept it off the radar of national, regional, and international security institutions. Ladies and gentlemen, sexual violence is not a gender or woman's issue; it's a security issue. And let me give you six reasons. First, organized rape undermines public order. Sexual violence is a remarkably efficient means of severing family and community bonds, tearing apart families and whole communities. Sexual terror targeting women and children has forced countless families to flee their homes, daring never to return. Second, sexual violence prolongs conflict. Rape and pillage is often the only incentive arms-bearers have to continue fighting. Or, as a colleague of mine, the former United Nations Special Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elizabeth Rehn, was told by a former commander, ``How can you expect us to tell subordinate commanders that their troops can't rape, when it's the only thing they have to offer them.'' Third, sexual violence undermines chances for an inclusive, sustainable peace because it precludes women's participation through intimidation. It also hampers sustainable development. No nation can achieve development while raping its greatest resource. Fourth, if perpetrators are not prosecuted--and they rarely are, because of inadequate response to sexual violence in national and international transitional justice systems--it is very difficult to rebuild these systems and respect for the rule of law. Impunity for perpetrators means that known rapists and torturers go free, often to assume positions of national and local leadership. For example, Mr. Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed ``The Terminator'' in the eastern part of the Congo, is now a brigadier general in the FARDC, the Congolese Army. He is high on the list of the International Criminal Court. And, in the past, the U.S. Government has asked to hand him over; however, recent high-level visits, even by the Security Council, never mentioned him, which is very disappointing. Fifth, rampant sexual violence increases the spread of HIV/ AIDS, which the Security Council has recognized as a threat to international security. And sixth, sexual violence is an inexpensive and highly destructive weapon that effectively destabilizes societies and creates conditions ripe for terrorism. Ladies and gentlemen, strong military and security-sector responses are needed from the apex global security institution--the United Nations Security Council--as well as from regional and national security institutions. In a meeting with the leaders of top troop-contributing countries, President Obama acknowledged that, ``United Nations peacekeeping can deliver important results by protecting civilians, helping to rebuild security, and advancing peace around the world. To succeed, United Nations missions and contributors need to be better equipped and supported to fulfill ambitious mandates, be it securing territory or protecting civilians from violence, including sexual and gender-based violence.'' It might be true that it is extremely difficult to find effective military and security responses to sexual violence; however, there is no doubt that there are actions that can make a difference. The United States can take a lead position to encourage the Security Council and other security institutions to take urgent steps to reverse a global culture of impunity for sexual violence. Peacekeepers, police, and military could help in prevention and in the apprehension of perpetrators as support for prosecutions. And a stronger focus on encouraging the participation of women military and police by troop- and police-contributing countries, including by the United States, is a positive sign. The Senate should exercise its oversight role to ensure the United States Government investments in security training are effective. United States soldiers and foreign soldiers and police should receive proper training for what they will encounter and clear instruction on how to intervene. And last, the International Violence Against Women Act is an opportunity to offer a comprehensive approach to this critical issue and to formulate new policy that places a priority on addressing the security threat. Sexual violence as a weapon of war creates instability and fosters terror. It must be addressed as a serious element of foreign policy and conflict intervention. Thank you. [The prepared statement of General Cammaert follows:] Prepared Statement of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert, Former Military Advisor to the U.N. Secretary General, Former U.N. Force Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, New York, NY Thank you Chairman Kerry, Senator Lugar, and all the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for inviting me here today and taking the time to talk about this important issue. My name is Patrick Cammaert. I retired in 2007 as a major general after 39 years in service. Operating in conflict zones have been large parts of my career, most importantly during the years I served with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). I have witnessed that violence directed at women and girls can be a particularly potent tool of war. The weapon of rape may be less exposed than those of nuclear missiles or bombs. But being cheaper than bullets and more silent than bombs makes it a tactic of choice for rebel groups. Sexual violence has been identified as a tactic of modern warfare in several conflicts, most importantly in the eastern part of the DRC and in Darfur. It is also identified as a war crime, a crime against humanity and a form of genocide. But recognition has not been a very effective deterrent. This form of atrocity continues, and if anything is intensifying in brutality and frequency. Violence against women, and particularly sexual violence, has special characteristics that have kept it off the radar of national, regional, and international security institutions. Ladies and gentleman, sexual violence is not a gender or women's issue; it is a security issue. Why--you may ask--is this a security problem nationally and internationally? Let me give you six reasons:
First, organized rape undermines public order. Sexual violence is a remarkably efficient means of severing family and community bonds tearing apart families and whole communities; sexual terror--targeting women and children--has forced countless families to flee their homes, daring never to return. Second, sexual violence prolongs conflict--rape and pillage is often the only incentive arms-bearers have, to continue fighting. Or as a colleague of mine, the former U.N. SRSG in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elisabeth Rehn, was told by a former commander: ``How can you expect us to tell subordinate commanders that their troops can't rape when it's the only thing they have to offer them.'' Third, sexual violence undermines chances for an inclusive, sustainable peace because it precludes women's participation through intimidation. It also hampers sustainable development; no nation can achieve development, while raping its greatest resource. Fourth, if perpetrators are not prosecuted--and they rarely are because of inadequate response to sexual violence in national and international transitional-justice systems--it is very difficult to rebuild these systems and respect for the rule of law. Impunity for perpetrators means that known human rights abusers go free, often to assume positions of national and local leadership. Fifth, rampant sexual violence increases the spread of HIV/ AIDS, which the Security Council has recognized as a threat to international security. Sixth, sexual violence is an inexpense and highly destructive weapon that effectively destabilizes societies and creates conditions ripe for terrorism. Ladies and gentlemen, strong military and security-sector responses are needed from the apex global-security institution--the U.N. Security Council--as well as from regional and national-security institutions. In a meeting with the leaders of top troop contributing countries, President Obama acknowledged that ``U.N. peacekeeping can deliver important results by protecting civilians, helping to rebuild security, and advancing peace around the world. To succeed, U.N. missions and contributors need to be better equipped and supported to fulfill ambitious mandates, be it securing territory or protecting civilians from violence, including sexual and gender-based violence.'' It might be true that it is extremely difficult to find effective military and security responses to sexual violence. However, there is no doubt that there are actions that can make a difference: The United States can take a lead position to encourage the Security Council and other security institutions to take urgent steps to reverse a global culture of impunity for sexual violence. Peacekeepers, police and military, could help in prevention, and in apprehension of perpetrators and support for prosecutions. A stronger focus on encouraging the participation of women military and police by troop/police-contributing countries, including by the United States is a positive sign. The Senate should exercise its oversight role to ensure U.S. Government investments in security training are effective. U.S. soldiers and foreign soldiers and police should receive proper training for what they will encounter and clear instruction on how to intervene. The International Violence Against Women Act is an opportunity to offer a comprehensive approach to this critical issue and to formulate new policy that places a priority on addressing this security threat. Sexual violence as a weapon of war creates instability and fosters terror; it must be addressed as a serious element of foreign policy and conflict intervention. The Chairman. General, thank you very, very much. Very important, significant testimony, and we're very appreciative of your being here. We also thank you very much for your service. Ambassador Steinberg. STATEMENT OF HON. DONALD STEINBERG, DEPUTY PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO ANGOLA, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM Ambassador Steinberg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And again, thank you for bringing us together to discuss this vital issue of global violence against women. My testimony will focus on eliminating such violence through the protection and participation of women in peace processes. I've been helping to negotiate and implement peace agreements in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia for some 30 years. And if there are three lessons I've learned from this that are applicable to this discussion, they are the following. First, the systematic exclusion of civil society, and especially women, from peace processes, is a key reason in why half of these agreements fail in the end, and violence recurs. Second, how we make peace determines whether the end of armed conflict brings a safer world for women or simply a different and, in many cases, more pernicious kind of violence against them. And finally, given that the failure to consolidate peace today doesn't just affect the people of that country, but opens the door to terrorist training camps, new routes for trafficking of women, arms, and illegal drugs, a flood of refugees, incubation of pandemic diseases, and now even piracy, we exclude the talents and insights of half the population, and relegate them to mere victimhood, at our own peril. The issues of women's empowerment and protection are entering a new phase. It's perhaps tragic that it's taken the graphic images of women raped in the Eastern Congo, and girls in Afghanistan getting acid thrown in their faces for daring to return to school, to touch our collective international conscience, but the world is responding--in the United Nations, with our government, on this committee--with some strong new programs and commitments that you've heard about. It's especially welcome, in this country, that this bipartisan effort with, for example, Secretary Rice leading and spearheading the 1820 passage, and now Secretary Clinton following up with Resolution 1888. And hopefully, we will soon be able to celebrate the reintroduction and quick passage of the International Violence Against Women's Act. Our key challenge now is to translate these developments into real protection for women facing violence in armed conflict. For me, these developments are long overdue and they're deeply personal. In 1994, while serving as President Clinton's adviser for Africa, I supported negotiating to end two decades of civil war in Angola that had cost a half-million lives. When the Lusaka Protocol was signed, I remember giving a speech, where I bragged that there wasn't a single provision in that agreement that discriminated against women. The agreement, I said, was ``gender neutral.'' Well, President Clinton then asked me to serve as Ambassador to Angola and it took about 2 weeks on the ground for me to realize that an agreement that calls itself ``gender neutral'' is, by definition, discriminatory against women. First, the agreement didn't require the participation of women at the peace table; and so, we had 40 men and no women sitting around the table implementing this agreement. Not only did this silence the voice of women on hard issues of peace and war, but it meant that issues like sexual violence, human trafficking, accountability for abuses of armed forces, reproductive health care, and girls' education were basically ignored. The peace agreement was based on 13 separate amnesties that forgave the parties for atrocities committed during the conflict. There was even one amnesty that forgave the parties for anything they might do 6 months into the future. Given the prominence of sexual abuse during the conflict, including rape as a weapon of war, amnesty meant that men with guns forgave other men with guns for crimes committed against women. The amnesties also introduced the cynicism at the heart of our efforts to rebuild justice and security sectors. Demobilization programs for ex-combatants defined a ``combatant'' as anyone who turned in a gun, and thus, thousands of women who had been kidnapped or coerced into the armed forces were excluded, including so-called ``bush wives'' and ``sex slaves.'' Demobilization camps were rarely constructed with women in mind, creating situations where women risked rape each time they left the camp to get firewood or used latrines in isolated and dimly lit settings. Male ex-combatants received some demobilization benefits, but then they were sent back to communities that had learned to live without them during many decades of conflict. And thus, the frustration of these men exploded into an epidemic of alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, rape, and domestic violence, which was especially true among young boys, who had never learned how to interact with girls their own age on an equal basis. In effect, the end of civil war unleashed a new era of violence against women and girls. We recognized these problems, and we brought out gender advisers and launched programs in reproductive health care, girls' education, microenterprise, et cetera, et cetera, but by then women had decided that the peace process was only serving the interests of the men with the guns. And when the peace process faltered a few years later, there was little public pressure on the leaders to force them to return to the peace table, and the war reemerged. Mr. Chairman, Angola is not an isolated case. Around the world, talented women peacebuilders face discrimination and threats of violence that make even the most courageous women think twice about stepping forward. Statistics show that only 1 of 14 participants in recent peace negotiations were women. In recent accords on Indonesia, Nepal, Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, Philippines, and the Central African Republic, there wasn't a single woman signatory, mediator, or negotiator. And at donors conferences to support these accords, only 5 percent of the money that was actually allocated referred at all to women and girls, even though, for example, we know that girls' education is the single best investment that we can make in the stability of a society. My written testimony identifies some practical steps that the U.S. Government can take to advance this agenda. One area I'd like to highlight orally is preventing violence against women in situations of population displacement. Humanitarian agencies recently adopted guidance, based on good work of the Women's Refugee Commission, on providing cooking fuel in refugee camps to put a stop, once and for all, to the rape of women and girls during the collection of firewood. The United States should mobilize donors to ensure that resources are available to implement these provisions, starting with the high-risk regions of Sudan, Chad, Eastern Congo, and the huge Daadab refugee camp in Kenya. Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by noting that the artificial line that we used to say separated the so-called ``soft issues'' of human security and the ``hard issues'' of national security has vanished forever. There are no more soft issues. There's nothing soft about going after traffickers who turn women and children into commodities. There's nothing soft about preventing armed thugs from abusing women in refugee camps, or holding warlords and government soldiers alike accountable for their crimes against women. There's nothing soft about forcing demobilized soldiers to refrain from domestic violence or insisting that women have a seat at the table in peace negotiations and post-conflict governments. These are, in fact, the hardest challenges we face on our global agenda, and I salute your leadership in bringing us together to try to find solutions to them. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Steinberg follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Donald Steinberg, Deputy President for Policy International Crisis Group, Former Ambassador to Angola, Brussels, Belgium Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by thanking you and ranking member, Senator Lugar, for your initiative in bringing us together to address the issue of global violence against women, and for your continuing leadership on these issues. My testimony will focus on eliminating such violence by promoting protection and participation of women in the pursuit of peace. For those of us who have spent decades working on issues of women's empowerment and protection in conflict situations, these are exciting times. There is a growing awareness not only of the personal costs of violence against women, but of the tremendous collective costs such violence imposes on the global community in failing to achieve our goals of building peace, pursuing development, and reconstructing post- conflict societies. signs of progress It is tragic that it has taken graphic images of women raped in the Eastern Congo, and young girls with acid thrown in their faces in Afghanistan for daring to return to school to shame our collective conscience, but the world is responding. At the United Nations, U.N. Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict is bringing together the enhanced work of a dozen separate agencies to stop rape now. Security Council Resolution 1820, spearheaded by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and a new resolution passed under the stewardship of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday have created a special representative for eliminating violence against women, mandated new measures of accountability for action, created structures to name and shame parties not protecting women against sexual violence, authorized the use of U.N. sanctions in such cases, and defined sexual violence itself as a threat to international peace and security. The creation of a new U.N. Under Secretary General for women's affairs has the potential to end the disarray that has bedeviled the efforts of UNIFEM and its sister agencies, if key steps are taken to ensure its effectiveness and relevance. Within the U.S. Government, the formation of the State Department's Office for Global Women's Affairs under the formidable Ambassador Verveer; enhanced programs within USAID and the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration; and the leadership provided by this committee, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice are encouraging. And hopefully, we will soon be able to celebrate the reintroduction and quick passage of the International Violence Against Women Act. Now is the time for this landmark legislation. Our challenge now is to translate these developments into enhanced protection for women facing violence in the context of armed conflict. a cautionary tale For me, these steps are both long overdue and deeply personal. In 1994, while serving as President Clinton's advisor for Africa, I supported negotiations to end two decades of civil war in Angola that had killed a half million people and left four million homeless. When the Lusaka Protocol was signed, I boasted that not a single provision in the agreement discriminated against women. ``The agreement is gender-neutral,'' I said in a speech. President Clinton then named me Ambassador to Angola. It took me only a few weeks after my arrival in Luanda to realize that a peace agreement that calls itself ``gender-neutral'' is, by definition, discriminatory against women. First, the agreement did not require the participation of women in the implementation body. As a result, 40 men and no women sat around the peace table. This imbalance silenced women's voices and meant that issues such as sexual violence, human trafficking, abuses by government and rebel security forces, reproductive health care, and girls' education were generally ignored. The peace accord was based on 13 separate amnesties that forgave the parties for atrocities committed during the conflict. Given the prominence of sexual abuse during the conflict, including rape as a weapon of war, amnesty meant that men with guns forgave other men with guns for crimes committed against women. The amnesties introduced a cynicism at the heart of our efforts to rebuild the justice and security sectors. Similarly, demobilization programs for ex-combatants defined a combatant as anyone who turned in a gun. Thousands of women who had been kidnapped or coerced into the armed forces were largely excluded, including so-called bush wives and sex slaves. And demobilization camps were rarely constructed with women in mind, such that women risked rape each time they left the camp to get firewood or used latrines in isolated and dimly lit settings. Male ex-combatants received demobilization assistance, but were sent back to communities that had learned to live without them during decades of conflict. The frustration of these men exploded into an epidemic of alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, rape, and domestic violence. This was especially true for young boys, who had never learned how to interact on an equal basis with girls their own ages. In effect, the end of civil war unleashed a new era of violence against women and girls. Even such well-intentioned efforts as clearing major roads of landmines to allow 4 million displaced persons to return to their homes backfired against women. Road clearance sometimes preceded the demining of fields, wells, and forests. As newly resettled women went out to plant the fields, fetch water, and collect firewood, they faced a new rash of landmine accidents. We recognized these problems, and brought out gender advisers and human rights officers; launched programs in reproductive health care, girls' education, microenterprise, and support for women's NGOs; and involved women in planning and implementing all our programs. But by then, civil society--and particularly women--had come to view the peace process as serving only the interests of the warring parties. When the process faltered in 1998, there was little public pressure on the leaders to prevent a return to conflict, and war soon reemerged. making peace matter for women We all recognize that when social order breaks down it is women and girls who suffer most, especially when rape is used as a weapon of war. But how we make peace is equally important in determining whether the end of armed conflict means a safer world for women or simply a different and in some cases more pernicious era of violence against them. Angola is sadly not an isolated case. Around the world, talented women peacebuilders face discrimination in legal, cultural and traditional practices, and threats of violence make even the most courageous women think twice before stepping forward. Groundbreaking research under Anne Marie Goetz at UNIFEM shows that only one in 14 participants in recent peace negotiations since 1992 have been women. In recent accords on Indonesia, Nepal, Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, Philippines and Central African Republic, there was not a single woman signatory, mediator, or negotiator. Of 300 cease-fire accords, power- sharing arrangements and other peace agreements negotiated since 1989, just 18 of them--just 6 percent--contain even a passing reference to sexual violence. For conflicts in Bosnia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Somalia--where such violence was a dominant feature of the fighting-- the peace accords are silent. Similarly, in emergency funding to support 23 post-conflict situations since 2006, only 3 percent of the projects included specific funding for women and girls--this despite our knowledge that girls' education, for example, is the single best investment in promoting stable societies and improving socioeconomic standards in these countries. To cite one example of great national interest now, it is deeply disturbing, given the Taliban's abhorrent record in Afghanistan on women's rights and access for women and girls to education and health services during their tenure in power, that the insurgents have made in-roads by arguing that women in Afghanistan today suffer broadly from the lack of security, corruption, rights abuses and civilian casualties. Sporadic and regional advances in political participation by women and school attendance by girls have been offset by a failure to insist on accountability for warlords whose forces committed sexual violence during the years of conflict, and continue such abuse today. Instead, a number of these criminals have been given positions of power. The murder of women leaders and human rights defenders in Afghanistan and the failure of the government to identify and prosecute attackers underlines the impression of a lack of national commitment to women's rights. Not only has the Karzai administration failed to publicly articulate a vision of women's rights that is both home-grown and consistent with traditional Afghan Islamic society, it has demonstrated a willingness to treat women's rights as a bargaining chip to win support from traditional leaders. Thus, it has ceded the debate to those who erroneously argue that such efforts are an alien concept imposed on Afghanistan by foreigners and their Afghan ``puppets.'' We can no longer afford to exclude the talents and insights of half the population in the pursuit of peace or to treat them as mere victims, because the stakes of game have risen dramatically. Failure to consolidate peace and stability no longer impacts just the people of that country, but opens the door to training camps for global terrorists; new routes for trafficking of persons, arms and illegal drugs; flood of refugees across borders and even oceans; incubation of pandemic disease; and even piracy. collective action: imperatives for the united nations Given the importance of collective action in addressing these challenges, I wanted to discuss as well what the United States can do in collaboration with the United Nations to pursue these objectives. Despite the positive steps cited earlier, the United Nations has thus far failed to lead by example, in part because of a gender architecture that identifies no lead agency, mandates no clear division of responsibilities, and holds no one accountable. This situation thwarts the efforts of many dedicated and talented professionals working in such entities as the UNIFEM, the Office of the Special Adviser for Gender Issues, the Division for the Advancement of Women, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, the Peacebuilding Commission, and others. Their work is currently underfunded and poorly coordinated. Given that the ideal solution--a single agency with at least $1 billion in dedicated funding, a so-called ``UNICEF for Women''--seemed beyond reach, the U.N. General Assembly last month approved the creation of a single office, headed by an Under Secretary General, to ensure greater coordination and synergies, and raise the profile of women's issues at the U.N. Secretariat in New York and in U.N. missions abroad. The details of this office were put aside to be worked out later under the direction of the new Under Secretary General. But the potential impact of this change on women in the real world is all about the details. As the NGO coalition Gender Equality Architecture Reform points out, the following commitments must be secured: Women in civil society around the world--and especially from conflict-related countries--must have a real voice in the new entity, not just on an ad hoc consultative basis, but through a formal decisionmaking role on issues that impact their lives. The principle must be, ``Nothing about us without us.'' The office must be mandated to develop and promote time- bound goals backed by monitoring, accountability, and enforcement mechanisms for achieving reductions in violence against women, participation of women in peace processes, allocation of reconstruction resources to projects of interest to women, and the like. There must be rewards for achieving these objectives and sanctions for failing to do so. There must be a quantum jump in the resources dedicated to these issues, especially for projects in conflict impacted countries--up to $1 billion per year, or just about 30 cents per woman. If increased resources are to depend on voluntary contributions, pledges must be made now and the Secretary General must make obtaining those resources among his highest priorities. This will ensure a presence for the entity in all impacted countries. The new Under Secretary General must be a world-class figure, with the capacity to generate public attention, mobilize political will among governments, and ``work'' the U.N. system. The Secretary General must give this leader the respect and resources needed to do her job, and access to the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council. The United States should provide additional financial support for this office with voluntary contributions that permit it to achieve broad presence in conflict countries and effective mainstreaming of gender issues within the entire U.N. community. U.S. assistance can help ensure the upgrading of the role of gender advisers in U.N. missions, and to promote their success through training and mentorship. unsc resolution 1325: a dream deferred The fight against sexual violence against women can only be won in conjunction with efforts to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, a groundbreaking resolution passed in October 2000. Resolution 1325 is a roadmap to promoting women's full engagement in peace negotiations, gender balance in post-conflict governments, properly trained peacekeepers and local security forces, protection for displaced women and accountability for sexual violence. It urges the Secretary General to bring a gender perspective to all peacekeeping operations and other U.N. programs, and calls for greater funding for measures to protect women during armed conflict and rebuild institutions that matter to women. Plans are already underway to ``celebrate'' the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October 2010, but as noted earlier, the current situation hardly warrants celebration. Instead, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro must act now to identify and implement specific reforms and practical steps in the U.N. system, Member States and the broader international community to better protect women in conflict situations and ensure their participation in building peace. A first step might be to appoint an advisory panel on Resolution 1325 of prominent international figures from developing and developed countries with past engagement on gender and armed conflict and knowledge of the U.N. system. More than a shop-talk or report-writing exercise, the advisory panel would develop and help implement accountability mechanisms by identifying time-bound goals, proposing measurement criteria, assigning responsibility for implementation, and defining rewards and sanctions to ensure compliance by individuals and agencies within the U.N. system. It would seek to reverse the shameful situation in which women fill only three of the Secretary General's 40 or so posts for country-specific special representatives. The panel might also consider charging a single entity, perhaps the new office of the Under Secretary General, with overseeing the Resolution 1325 agenda; promoting the creation of a permanent Security Council working group; establishing a watch-list of countries and nonstate actors of concern to be named and shamed into improving their records; ensuring periodic reports by the Secretary General to the Security Council on the status of Resolution 1325 implementation; and enshrining the principle that sanctions can be adopted on governments and nonstate actors that abuse or fail to protect for women. If these steps seem like a stretch, it is important to remember that each of these measures now applies to the protection of children in armed conflict under UNSC Resolutions 1612 and 1882 american leadership Mr. Chairman. The United States must provide leadership on these issues, first by ensuring that all its diplomatic and military personnel are familiar with and committed to the provisions of UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820, and have the resources needed to ensure its implementation. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and her team have stepped forward impressively on these issues, building on a good work by former Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. In their future efforts, they should be guided by several principles. The United States should insist that the mandate for every U.N. peacekeeping mission includes as a priority the protection of women and the safeguarding of women peacebuilders, including through the provision of personal security, training, and stipends. The United States should demand that negotiations led by the United Nations include a critical mass of qualified women on all sides--beginning at 20 percent--even if it takes quotas to do so. Similarly, the United States should prioritize in post-conflict reconstruction and donors conferences the rebuilding of social structures of particular importance to women, such as reproductive health care and girls' education, as well as significant provisions for women to attain livelihood security, such as access to and ownership of productive assets such as land. All post conflict recovery plans should be subjected to gender-impact analysis, and specify the funds dedicated to women's needs. U.S. support for the rebuilding and reform of armies, police, and other security forces should insist on training in gender issues for all personnel and require the incorporation of women into those forces, in particular so that local women who have been abused will come forward with their accusations. The United States could commit to providing teams of women military observers to peacekeeping missions and cease-fire monitoring teams. The presence of women in these missions and teams has been proven to encourage reporting of sexual violence and much greater attention to monitoring the problem. I would also like to encourage the United States to expand its leadership in preventing violence against displaced women, both refugees and internally displaced persons. One simple step would have a dramatic impact. In order to put a stop once and for all to the rape of women and girls during the collection of firewood, the global body for humanitarian agencies, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, recently adopted guidance on the provision of cooking fuel in humanitarian settings, based in large part on recommendations from the Women's Refugee Commission. The United States should mobilize donors to ensure that the resources are there to implement these provisions fully, starting with the high-risk regions of Sudan, Chad, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the huge Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. keeping our eyes on the prize As we consider these and other funding, institutional and administrative changes, we must never lose sight of our real goal. The success of our efforts will not be measured by the reports we issue, the publicity we generate, or even the money we spend. It will come in changing the lives of women on the ground, empowering women to play their rightful and vital role in post-conflict governments and economies, securing seats for women in peace negotiations, preventing armed thugs from abusing women in conditions of displacement, holding government security forces and warlords alike accountable for sexual violence against women, preventing traffickers from turning women and girls into commodities, building strong civil society networks for women and ending the stigma of victimization that bedevils women leaders. No challenge we face as an international community is more important than this to creating a safe, secure, and prosperous world for women and for men. Thank you. The Chairman. Well, no; thank you. I mean, that's very-- again, like General Cammaert, wonderfully important, eloquent testimony, and it helps us really establish a wonderful baseline here for what ought to be. I remember when I was in Darfur not so long ago, this issue of the cooking thing came out. I mean, it's just--it's common-- I mean, it's common sense. It just ought to be happening. And I would hear these stories about the firewood collection process and so forth. So, my hope is we can get these things implemented, and I'm so glad we've got somebody there who's supposed to focus on it, because that helps. You know, you've just got to keep the focus. Dr. Gupta, thank you very much for your patience, and appreciate your being here today. Thank you. STATEMENT OF DR. GEETA RAO GUPTA, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN, WASHINGTON, DC Dr. Gupta. Thank you, Chairman Kerry. The Chairman. Can you push the button, there? That's it. Dr. Gupta. Sorry. There you go. Thank you very much. Thank you for your---- The Chairman. Pull the mic a little lower---- Dr. Gupta [continuing]. Leadership on this issue. And thank you, to the members of the committee, for holding this important hearing about a massive threat to women's lives and livelihoods. My testimony today will illustrate the links between violence and economics, how violence is not only a gross violation of women's human rights and a threat to women's health and well-being, but also a barrier to economic prosperity of families, communities, and entire nations. Further, I want to discuss how women's economic empowerment-- that is, giving women opportunities to earn an income and strengthen the contributions that they make--as well as working with men and boys, can help to eliminate violence against women. The United Nations estimates that one in three women around the world will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. One in four will be physically or sexually abused while she is pregnant. Violence against women persists in every country in the world, and, in many countries, it exists in epidemic proportions. Violence finds a woman in her home, in the field, gathering water, in times of conflict, and in times of peace. It comes at the hands of a stranger, a sibling, or a spouse, and it also comes in the form of marriage that occurs when a child is too young. We know all too well that crimes against women also are committed in the name of honor. We pay a high price for violence against women. The cost of a single incident of violence has a multiplier effect, from the emotional and physical toll it takes on the survivor, to an employer's loss of labor because she cannot work, a police officer's response, a doctor's care, a small health clinic's limited resources, a judge or lawyer's time. These costs add up, undermining development and foreign-assistance goals. For example, households in Uganda incur an average cost of $5 per incident of violence. This is a substantial sum when you consider that Ugandans, on average, earn only $340 a year. A study in Nicaragua showed that women who had been beaten by their husbands were twice as likely to require surgery or hospitalization than those who were not abused. Their children were more likely to be sick or malnourished, and they were three times more likely to die before the age of 5. Numerous studies in Africa and elsewhere show that sexual violence, both within schools and at home, is a major reason for girls dropping out early, undermining U.S. foreign- assistance goals of educating girls. While the numbers and the reality they represent are horrifying, change is possible. Around the world, women and men are carrying out innovative programs to end violence against women. And I'd like to share a few examples with you. Many women are not able to escape violent situations or access protection because they lack financial resources. When microfinance is implemented in combination with other community programs, it can actually prevent violence. A well-known South African program provided women entrepreneurs with much-needed credit, and provided community members with training on women's rights and violence prevention. The program showed a remarkable 55-percent reduction in violence in only 2 years. Giving women the right to own property can be both financially and socially empowering. Research in India found that 49 percent of women who did not own property reported violence, as compared to only 7 percent of women who owned property. We must invest more in women's legal rights and access to economic assets for this reason. However, providing women with economic opportunities and assets is only one part of the solution. We must also engage boys and men to help change the social norms that suggest that such violence is normal or acceptable, and to stop the violence that they see in their homes or communities. An innovative example of this is the Bell Bajeao! campaign, led by an Indian organization called Breakthrough. This campaign, which in Hindi means ``Ring the bell!'' uses multimedia messaging and leadership training to encourage men and boys to speak out and to act to end domestic violence in their communities. Other initiatives work with men and boys in sports leagues, or with young boys and girls in schools, encouraging them to treat each other with respect and dignity. Programs such as these urgently need to be replicated and scaled up. So, drawing from what the evidence shows, I now offer three recommendations for U.S. foreign assistance, to make the dollars that we spend on development go further. The Chairman. Dr. Gupta, I hate to do this, can I--the record will not show the interruption. So, I apologize for that, but I need to go meet with the President. I apologize for that. Senator Kaufman is going to close out the hearing, and he will ask some of the questions that I wanted to ask. I'm going to leave the record open for a few days. I think we'll leave the record open until Monday, because I want people to have a chance to submit some questions in writing. I was particularly struck, Ambassador Steinberg, by your opening comments, the first three or four sentences, where you talked about the difference that it would make, and the more-- the capacity for more peace, the capacity for outcomes are different. I really want you, if you would, to extrapolate on that. If I stayed here, I'd have asked you some questions about, How do you show that? How do you document that? What can we do to impress people about that? How do we, you know, build some commonsense approaches around that reality? Because that's the dramatic--I mean, that really is a center organizational piece, I thought. And, all of you--I mean, General, your testimony, everybody's testimony, was so on point. And I regret not being able--just--the votes today, which we can never predict around here, just destroy schedules, unfortunately. So, I apologize profusely, but you are in great hands. This man worked with Senator Biden for over 30 years, many of you have worked with him. Part of the reasons we have a Violence Against Women Act is Senator Kaufman's leadership. Nobody knows this better, so you're in good hands. So, I appreciate it. And again, my apologies. Thank you, Senator Kaufman. Thanks. Senator Kaufman [presiding]. And pick up, if you would, and proceed. Dr. Gupta. OK. So, I want to present to you three recommendations. The first is that we need to build and sustain comprehensive multisector strategies to end violence against women through U.S.-funded foreign-assistance efforts in multiple sectors, including economic development, justice and governance, education, public health, and community development. In short, there is no single magic bullet. We need multiple strategies, implemented simultaneously, to end the acceptability of violence against women and to protect women's rights. Second, we need data collection and impact evaluation. The only way we know that programs work is through careful collection of data about outcomes and a thorough evaluation of their impact. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of many members of this committee, including Senators Kerry, Lugar, Menendez, and Corker, on the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act, a bill that places a high premium on research, data collection, and evaluation. Any bill that comes through this committee must include strong language to collect and systematize data from programs that deal with violence against women. And my third recommendation is that, for all of this, robust funding is imperative. The enormity of the problem at hand demands a proportional response through financial investment. A significant investment from the United States will allow proven programs to be scaled up, new programs and services to be introduced, and will signal to other nations that they, too, can and must act to eradicate violence against women. In conclusion, then, you have the opportunity to bring about enormous change on an issue that is sapping the economic potential of more than half of the population of this world, and thus, half of the labor force of this world. Women are the vast majority of the world's poor. They are the least educated. They are the least able to exercise their human rights. But evidence shows that, despite the obstacles they face, women and girls are powerful agents of change. They can and will be the catalysts for economic recovery and leaders of a more powerful, peaceful, and just world, if only given a chance. If we want women and girls to unleash the full potential of their human capital, now is the time to put an end to the violence that undermines that. The center that I lead, the International Center for Research on Women, stands ready to support this committee as you address these issues through particular legislation, especially the International Violence Against Women Act. Thank you for your time. [The prepared statement of Dr. Gupta follows:] Prepared Statement of Geeta Rao Gupta, Ph.D., President, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Washington, DC Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and honorable members of the committee, thank you for holding this hearing on such an important topic. Violence against women occurs in epidemic proportions in many countries around the world. It cuts across socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic groups, as well as geographic areas.\1\ The United Nations estimates that one in three women around the world will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime.\2\ One in four women will be physically or sexually abused while she is pregnant.\3\ All over the world, women's organizations, and many men's organizations, are rallying around the issue of ending violence. Congress can take bold steps to help these organizations be more effective in their own internal programming and advocacy. On behalf of these women and men around the world, thank you for considering the steps that the United States can take to reduce violence against women--it is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ United Nations Millennium Project. 2005. ``Taking Action: Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women.'' \2\ United Nations Development Fund for Women. 2003. ``Not A Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women.'' Retrieved on December 4, 2008, from http://www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php?ProductID=7. \3\ Garcia-Moreno et al. 2005. ``WHO Multi-Country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence Against Women.'' World Health Organization. Retrieved on December 4, 2008, from http://www.who.int/ gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/en/. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- I come to you today as president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). ICRW tackles the complexities of the world's most pressing problems--poverty, hunger, and disease--by demonstrating that a focus on women is necessary for lasting social and economic change. Research is our work, but ICRW is different from other think tanks. We are a ``do-tank'' that translates research findings into concrete steps that program designers, donors, and policymakers can take. We develop practical solutions that achieve greater impact, ensure efficient use of resources, and most importantly, empower women to change their own lives and their communities for the better. The purpose of my testimony is to show the links between violence and economic development--how violence is not only a gross violation of human rights and a threat to a woman's health and well-being, but also a barrier to the economic development of families and communities. Furthermore, I want to discuss how economic empowerment--including working with men and boys--can be part of the solution to violence against women. economic consequences of violence Violence against women has many direct consequences, including physical injury and emotional pain. A less immediate, yet equally damaging, consequence of violence is the economic injury to the individuals and households where violence occurs. The economic costs of violence against women are significant--to survivors themselves, to their family members and to their communities. Costs to Individuals and Households Families endure the direct financial costs of violence due to the expense of services used to treat surviors and apprehend and prosecute perpetrators. ICRW conducted a study of households in Uganda and found that each household incurs an average cost of $5 per incidence of violence. This is a substantial sum of money, considering that the average per capita income in Uganda is only $340.\4\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \4\ ICRW. 2009. ``Intimate Partner Violence: High Costs to Households and Communities.'' --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Individuals can also face broader economic effects of violence, including increased absenteeism from work; decreased labor market participation; reduced productivity; and lower earnings, investment and savings. A recent ICRW study shows that almost 10 percent of women who are victims of violence take time away from paid work, an average of 11 days annually.\5\ Men who are perpetrators of violence also tend to miss work. After a particularly violent episode, men may flee their home and town for several days, missing work and losing income in the process. Both circumstances amount to less money for food, clothing, medical care, and school fees. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \5\ Ibid. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence against women also affects their health, which in turn impacts their productivity and ability to earn an income. A World Bank study estimated that annual rates of rape and domestic violence translated into 9 million years of disability-adjusted life years (``disability-adjusted life year'' is the measure of the loss of 1 year of full health, whether due to illness or premature death) lost, including premature mortality as well as disability and illness.\6\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \6\ United Nations Millennium Project. 2005. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence against women has intergenerational impacts, and is often correlated with disruption in schooling for the children of survivors. A study in Nicaragua showed that 63 percent of children of female survivors of violence must repeat a grade in school. The same study showed that children of female survivors left school an average of 4 years before other children. Such delays in the educational development of children can have long-lasting economic consequences for individuals and households.\7\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \7\ Ibid. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Costs to Communities and Nations Beyond the home, violence imposes a great monetary cost on the community. Valuable community resources must be spent on health services, court costs, and social services to prevent violence, treat victims, and apprehend and prosecute perpetrators. These costs are well-documented in industrialized countries such as Canada, where the annual monetary cost of violence against women has been estimated at Can$684 million in the criminal justice system and Can$187 million for policy.\8\ However, these costs are also shown in other countries, such as Uganda, where hospitals reported spending about $1.2 million annually to treat women victims of violence.\9\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \8\ Ibid. \9\ ICRW. 2009. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Countries, like households, also face economic multiplier effects of violence as high rates of violence against women diminish the potential economic value of nearly half the workforce. Studies in Chile show that domestic violence caused women to lose $1.56 billion in 1996, or 2 percent of GDP. In Nicaragua, violence against women cost 1.6 percent of the GDP, according to the same study. In both countries survivors of violence earned far less than other women, controlling for a number of factors likely to affect earnings.\10\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \10\ United Nations Millennium Project. 2005. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- economic empowerment as a solution to violence Effectively reducing violence against women requires an integrated approach that involves international and national lawmakers as well as community leaders, families, and individual men and women. This integrated approach, recognized by the World Bank and other global leaders, aims to increase women's access to judicial and support services as well as to prevent violence from occurring. Though much work remains, improvements have been made to the laws and policies to protect women and girls from violence and to facilitate women's access to necessary support services. However, we are not doing enough to prevent violence from occurring in the first place. We can prevent violence. And one of the best strategies to do so is by economic empowerment. By economically empowering women, we can increase their status within the household and the community and decrease their chances of suffering violence. We can also engage men and boys to address the prevailing community norms that might encourage violence. Without examining these factors and implementing preventative strategies, we will never see a sustainable reduction in violence. In my work with ICRW, I have met countless working women--including market hawkers, farmers, and managers of small businesses. They demonstrate incredible ingenuity and resourcefulness in finding ways to earn an income and provide for their families. However, they often lack access to the necessary tools and resources to increase their economic returns. For example, I met a market woman in India, who traveled, on foot, every day from her tiny village--carrying an infant on her back and loaded down by produce to sell in the local market. This journey took hours, was physically exhausting, and barely earned her a sufficient income to survive and feed her children. Without a decent road or transportation, without access to business training or capital, without childcare options for her children, her options for a better income were scarce or nonexistent. Economically empowering women means giving opportunities where there are none and strengthening the contributions women already make to their communities by ensuring they are paid appropriately for their labor. Developing strategies that lead to a better economic standing for women can ultimately help thwart violence. The violence they face is rooted in inequitable power dynamics within a household--men own the land, the home, all of the productive assets and control the income, even when women are the source of that income. Increasing a woman's economic independence can provide her the leverage to negotiate protection or leave a violent relationship. Additionally, women are more likely than men to spend their income on the well-being of their families, including more nutritious foods, school fees for children, and health care. One successful mechanism that is proven to empower women and reduce violence is microfinance. Microfinance consists of small loans usually given to poor people--mostly women--with little or no collateral to help them start or expand small businesses. Statistics show that women who received loans paid them back at rates close to 99 percent. The benefits of these economic activities extend beyond the participants to their families and communities. Families can afford three meals a day rather than one. They can pay school fees and buy uniforms to send their children to school. They can expand their businesses and hire other community members as employees. When microfinance is distributed in combination with other community programs, it can actually prevent violence. This is most clearly demonstrated by the Intervention with MicroFinance for AIDS and Gender Equity Project (IMAGE Project) in South Africa. Through the Small Enterprise Foundation, the program distributed small loans to women to start or expand small businesses and generate household income.\11\ The program also provided training and skills-building sessions on HIV prevention, gender norms, cultural beliefs, communication and intimate partner violence. A random, controlled trial found that, 2 years after completing the program, participants reported a 55-percent reduction in incidence of violence by their intimate partners in the previous 12 months than did members of a control group. Women also reported higher confidence, autonomy in decisionmaking, better relationships with their partners and other household members, and improved communication skills.\12\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \11\ Small Enterprise Foundation. 2009. ``Economic Evaluation of a Combined Microfinance and Gender Training Intervention for the Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence in Rural South Africa.'' Retrieved on Sept. 28, 2009, from http://www.sef.co.za/files/ 01%20%20Jan%20 IMAGE%20Costing%20Study%20Working%20paper%202009.pdf. \12\ World Health Organization (WHO). 2009. ``Violence Prevention-- The Evidence: Promoting Gender Equality to Prevent Violence Against Women.'' Retrieved on Sept. 28, 2009, from: http://www.who.int/ violence_injury_prevention/violence/gender.pdf. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- In addition to access to financial services, women and communities benefit from increased access to land and property rights. They are not only able to reap more financial returns from their efforts; the ability to own and inherit property is clearly linked to decreased violence and increased security for women. Research in India found that 49 percent of women with no property reported violence, compared to only 7 percent of women who owned property, even while controlling for factors such as economic status, education, employment and other variables.\13\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \13\ Panda, P. 2002. ``Rights-Based Strategies in the Prevention of Domestic Violence.'' ICRW Working Paper. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Groundbreaking work in Peru during the 1990s shows how land titling can empower and benefit women. The government set about to create land titles, and mandated that married couples receive joint land titles. More than 50 percent of the beneficiaries of this policy were women, who then gained access to government-provided credit, and saw an improvement of employment prospects.\14\ If the data from India can be generalized, then we can assume that the land titling effort in Peru may have led to a decrease in violence against women. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \14\ ICRW. 2009. ``Innovation for Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality.'' --------------------------------------------------------------------------- However, I must also caution that there is evidence from Bangladesh and other parts of the world that programs increasing a woman's access to economic resources can put her at risk of increased violence. This is particularly true in settings where a woman's status is low, because increasing her income can lead to greater conflict within the family.\15\ One of the ways to mitigate the risk of this kind of backlash by men is to engage them in economic development programs from the start. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \15\ Koenig, M & Hossain MB et al. 1999, ``Individual and Community-Level Determinants of Domestic Violence in Rural Bangladesh.'' Hopkins Population Center Paper on Population. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins School Public Health, Department of Population and Family Health Sciences: 32. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- During the 1980s and 1990s, men were viewed primarily as perpetrators, rather than potential partners in violence prevention. Accordingly, most programs focused on teaching men how to deal with anger and conflict without resorting to violence. Most batterers' treatment programs are run in coordination with the criminal justice system, with attendance mandated by the court (as an alternative to a jail sentence). International research has found, however, that these programs are not as effective in reducing male violence against women as prevention-based programs because they do not address underlying causes. This is particularly true in a setting where violence against women is culturally accepted.\16\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \16\ Morrison, A & Ellsberg M et al. 2007, ``Addressing Gender- Based Violence: A Critical Review of Interventions,'' The World Bank Research Observer 22(1): 25-51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Today, there are many successful programs that work with men and boys to reduce violence. Programs that target men are showing promising results--a recent review of 57 evaluated interventions with boys and men found that nearly two-thirds showed evidence of behavior change. The programs that dealt with questions of masculinity and ``what it means to be a man'' were found to be most effective.\17\ Rather than defining masculinity as violent and aggressive, the messages promoted through these programs are that caretaking and compassion are traits of ``real men.'' --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \17\ Barker, G., Ricardo, C. and Nascimento, M. (2007). Engaging men and boys in changing gender-based inequity in health: Evidence from programme interventions. Geneva: World Health Organization. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The key now is to scale up these small programs, and to increase our efforts to reach men and boys in schools, the workplace, sporting events, community centers, and religious institutions. The needs are particularly urgent in conflict and post-conflict settings. A recent meeting organized by ICRW and the World Bank called attention to the need not only to support survivors of violence, but also to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, and to carry out prevention activities with men and boys who have witnessed or been involved in violence. While those men who use violence in conflict settings, including the brutal violence being carried out, need to be held accountable, it is important to acknowledge that there are many men who abhor such violence and could be engaged as agents of change if funding for programming were expanded. recommended actions The sheer scale and complexity of violence against women means that there is no single solution to the problem. The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), introduced in 2007 by then-Senator Biden and Senator Lugar, captures best practices and lessons learned from more than 40 years of development. This bill, if reintroduced by this Congress, should be a strong statement by the United States that violence against women is unacceptable. Specifically, any legislation to combat violence against women must include the following components: 1. Comprehensive, multisector strategies. Strategies to combat violence against women must include: Economically empowering women; Legal and judicial systems that strengthens and enforces laws to protect women, while encouraging women to be active and equal partners in society without fear of repression or violence; Health sectors that provide services to survivors of violence; Education systems that work to ensure girls going to and from school are safe; and Humanitarian efforts that recognize and prioritize the needs and and concerns of women. All programs should, where possible, engage men and boys as partners. One issue in particular that must be addressed is the issue of child marriage. Child brides are especially susceptible to violence, facing three times the risk of abuse compared to women who marry after the age of 18. Forcing children to marry is a violent act in and of itself, robbing girls of their education and freedom to decide when and who to wed. Child brides also tend to come from poor households and continue the cycle of poverty. There are programs that have raised the age of marriage in communities in relatively short periods of time. This committee should support and pass S. 987, the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. 2. Data collection and impact evaluation. As the president of a research organization, I know firsthand the importance of data collection, monitoring, and impact evaluation. The only way to know that programs work is through the careful collection of inputs, outcomes, and the evidence of their impact. Continued innovation and research into reducing violence against women is the best way to come up with long-term and sustainable solutions. Any bill that comes through this committee must include strong language to collect and systematize data from programs that deal with violence against women. Members of this committee, led by Senators Kerry, Lugar, Menendez, and Corker, recently introduced the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S. 1524), a bill that places a high premium on research, data collection and evaluation. I applaud this committee for the leadership you have shown thus far, and encourage you to mandate and fund the evaluation of programs that address violence against women. 3. Robust funding. Successful programs require adequate resources. Evidence points to many programs that work--through microcredit, through land titling, through engaging men and boys, and through many other multipronged efforts. Many programs are vastly successful on a small scale, and are in a perfect position to be scaled up on a regional or national scale, yet lack adequate resources. Any effort to combat violence against women in a comprehensive manner must include funding for programs on the ground, research and data collection, and humanitarian interventions during conflict and disaster situations. A substantial portion of IVAWA funds should go to strengthen women's organizations based in developing countries, because those on the ground know what is needed, and can most effectively use the funds. Funding for violence programs should also be viewed as an investment. Increasingly, business leaders from all parts of society are realizing what ICRW has been proving for more than 30 years--that investing in women pays the biggest dividend. Why else would Fortune 500 companies like ExxonMobil, the GAP, and Goldman Sachs spend time, energy, and capital investing in women around the world? Partly for philanthropic reasons, but also because they know that it is worth the investment. So I encourage Congress to follow the example of the marketplace and invest in women to create prosperity and security--for women around the world and for the United States. conclusion This august body deals with many of the most pressing needs of the day--from climate change to health care to threats from rogue states to an economy tinkering on the edge. And through this hearing today, you add violence against women to this list. You face tough decisions day in and day out, and you have the opportunity to bring about enormous change to this country and around the world. Oftentimes there is debate about which is the best way to move forward. But right here, right now, there is no debate. The lines are clear. By not acting, by maintaining the status quo, millions of women will continue to face violence every day. And their enormous potential will continue to be suppressed by the yoke of violence. But if you refuse to acquiesce to the notion that violence against women is inevitable or acceptable, and you instead choose to put your moral and political authority behind the dignity and rights of women, you can help create a cycle of prosperity and peace. With your help, women and girls can be the catalyst for the next great development innovation, the drivers of economic recovery, and the leaders of a more peaceful and just world. ICRW stands ready to support your efforts. Thank you for your time and I look forward to answering your questions. Senator Kaufman. Thank you very much. Miss Soler. STATEMENT OF ESTA SOLER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND (FVPF), SAN FRANCISCO, CA Ms. Soler. Thank you. Thank you, Chairman Kerry, and thank you, Senator Kaufman, for all your great work on the Violence Against Women Act. It is my great honor to join you today to discuss one of the most compelling causes of our time: ending violence against women and girls. This is also a critical moment because we have an unprecedented worldwide call to end violence against women and girls. The world does not expect the United States to solve this problem alone, but it does see our leadership as essential to changing course. Who are the people demanding change? They are top military leaders and diplomats. They are the World Health Organization and U.N. aids. They are leaders of nations, large and small, and nongovernmental organizations, all of whom recognize that investing in programs that improve the safety of women and girls and their ability to participate in civic life offers the greatest hope for peace and prosperity in our time. This movement is also driven by the voices of those who risk their lives and safety every day to demand their basic civil rights. I am talking about a 10-year-old girl, who refuses to be married to a man 40 years her senior to settle a family debt; the teen who musters the courage to say, ``I was raped,'' even when family and community stand against her; the father, who goes without food so his daughter can attend school, driven by hope that education and economic opportunity will protect her from a violent husband, a rampaging solider, and the sex traffickers who prey on those without prospects for a better life. I share these examples because we must remember that courageous women, girls, and men, and remarkable nongovernmental organizations, are doing heroic work to stop this violence, and that real change will only come when we stand together, governments and individuals, women and men, to say, ``No more.'' These problems are big, but they are solvable. And that's especially the case if we engage men in the work to end violence against women. At the Family Violence Prevention Fund, we began focusing on this a decade ago. We created Coaching Boys into Men, with men like M.L. Carr, a program which invites fathers, uncles, coaches, and other men to teach boys that violence is wrong. It has significantly increased the number of men who talk to boys about violence, and it is now being used around the world. This is the kind of proven programs that Americans overwhelmingly support. We have been working with Lake Research, along with Women Thrive Worldwide, to explore public views about this issue. Americans care deeply about ending violence against women and girls globally. Three in five voters say addressing global violence should be one of the top priorities for the U.S. Government. One in four say it should be the top priority. Voters also told us that they strongly support the International Violence Against Women Act, which would make stopping violence against women and girls a priority in American diplomacy and foreign assistance. Seventy-two percent of voters say they would support I-VAWA, even after being told it might cost as much as $2 million a year. Senators Lugar and Kerry, Senator Kaufman, we are so grateful that you are here today and about to introduce this bill. Senator Lugar, we know that you were there from the beginning with Vice President Biden, and, Chairman Kerry, we thank you for making it a priority. The International Violence Against Women Act is groundbreaking legislation. As you make final revisions to the language, I ask you to consider these suggestions. We need an office within the State Department that is responsible for strategy and implementation. We need to fund implementation of new programs through the State Department and USAID. We need an intensive effort directed to 10 to 15 focus countries. We need to target support for the protection of women and girls in humanitarian crises. We need to invest in local organizations and local governments, where appropriate. And we need to make a substantial investment in solving this worldwide tragedy. The days of piecemeal solutions must end. No longer can we implement a successful program in a few regions for a few years and end support just as it begins to show results. It's time to put forward a bold and transformative initiative that concentrates our resources on programs that work. Much of the support, here in Congress, to address violence against women emanates from high-profile emergencies like the crises in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a commendable impulse to respond to these emergencies, but violence against women is an emergency every day. We need a response that is sustained and durable enough to address not just today's emergencies, but those that lie ahead. We need this Congress to pass, and to fund, the International Violence Against Women Act. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ms. Soler follows:] Prepared Statement of Esta Soler, President and Founder, Family Violence Prevention Fund, San Francisco, CA Thank you, Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and members of this committee. It is my great honor to join you today to discuss one of the most compelling causes of our time: ending violence against women and girls. This hearing could not come at a more opportune moment. As you know, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chaired yesterday's United Nations Security Council Meeting, introducing a resolution to provide greater protections to women during times of conflict. This resolution responds directly to the horrific sexual and physical violence being committed against women, often as a tool of war and conflict, around the world today. Senator Kerry, you are no stranger to the cruelties of armed conflict. I hope you agree that it's time to acknowledge that these horrendous crimes are nothing less than a war on the next generation, and a tool for the permanent destruction of communities and ultimately nations. The devastation they cause will be felt long after the fighting has ended. This is also a critical moment because we have an unprecedented worldwide call to end this violence. The world does not expect the United States to solve this problem alone, but it does see our leadership as essential to changing course. Who are the people demanding change? They are the Secretary General of the United Nations, top military leaders and diplomats. They are the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. They are leaders of nations large and small, and nongovernmental organizations, all of whom recognize that gender inequality, and violence against women and girls, are among the greatest barriers to global health and security. They recognize that investing in programs that improve the safety of women and girls, and their ability to participate in civic life, offers the greatest hope for peace and prosperity in our time. This movement is also driven by the voices of those who risk their safety every day to demand basic human rights. I am talking about the girl, age 10, who refuses to be married to a man 40 years her senior, to settle a family debt. The teen who musters the courage to say, ``I was raped''--even when family and community stand against her. The father who goes without food so his daughter can attend school, driven by hope that education and economic opportunity will protect her from a violent husband, a rampaging soldier, and the sex traffickers who prey on those without prospects for a better life. I share these examples because we must remember that courageous women, girls, and men, and remarkable nongovernmental organizations, are doing heroic work to stop this violence--and that real change will only come when we stand together--governments and individuals, women and men--to say ``no more.'' Often when I talk about the debilitating epidemic of global violence against women and girls, someone will say that it's a particular culture or region or religion. They are saying that it's about ``them,'' not us. That attitude leads to resignation, hopelessness . . . and inaction. We have to remind people that, all over the world, mothers and fathers love their daughters and their sons, and want for them what we want for our children: A life during which they can learn and grow, thrive and prosper, without fear, degradation, and the trauma associated with violence. I also want to talk specifically about the role men can play in ending violence against women. At the Family Violence Prevention Fund, we began intentionally focusing on the role men can play in this work more than a decade ago. We asked men about their stake in the issue, and what they were willing to do to end the violence. We explored who helped them develop their attitudes and beliefs. Then we built on that research to create our Founding Fathers campaign through which, each Father's Day, men across the Nation rededicate themselves to teaching the next generation that violence against women and girls is wrong. Founding Fathers include people like M.L. Carr, former all-star with your Boston Celtics; Ted Waitt, founder of Gateway Computer; Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President, and CEO of Macy's; and hundreds of others. Those lessons also led us to create Coaching Boys Into Men in 2002. It invites fathers, uncles, teachers, coaches, and other men to teach the next generation that violence is always wrong. It has changed men's behavior in the United States, significantly increasing the number of fathers, and men, who talk to boys about violence. Now we are adapting those strategies overseas. We are proud that, with support from the Nike and NoVo Foundations and in partnership with the International Center on Research on Women, we are introducing Coaching Boys Into Men in India, where cricket coaches and players are helping educate boys about the need to treat girls with respect. When messages come from popular, respected coaches and players, boys listen. We also are working with UNICEF to adapt Coaching Boys Into Men for South Africa and link with the upcoming World Cup. These are the kind of proven programs Americans support. Recently we have been working with Lake Research, along with Women Thrive Worldwide, to explore voters' attitudes about violence against women and girls globally. Americans care deeply about this issue. Three in five voters say addressing global violence should be one of the top priorities for the U.S. Government. One in four says it should be the top priority. Reducing this violence matters to voters, even when compared to other priorities like promoting democracy and trade, fighting corruption abroad, and reconstructing Iraq and Afghanistan. Voters also told us they strongly support the International Violence Against Women Act--known as I-VAWA. This legislation would make stopping violence against women and girls a priority in American diplomacy and foreign aid. Seventy-two percent of voters say they support I-VAWA, even after being told it might cost as much as $200 million per year. Senators Lugar and Kerry, we are so grateful that you are about to reintroduce this bill. Senator Lugar, you were there from the beginning, introducing it last year in partnership with now-Vice President Biden. Chairman Kerry, we thank you for making it a priority. I know you both agree that its passage should be among the high priorities for this Congress. The International Violence Against Women Act is groundbreaking legislation that would have an immediate and direct impact in saving the lives of women and girls around the world. As you make final revisions to the language, I ask you to consider these suggestions: --To be successful we need an office within the State Department that is responsible for developing a compreshensive strategy and coordinating implementation, and is accountable to you. --Stopping violence against women and girls must be a diplomatic priority and a foreign assistance priority. The State Department needs the authority and support to coordinate our work and USAID needs funding to implement programs. --Our approach must be holistic. We recommend beginning with comprehensive programs in 10-20 countries that address violence in a coordinated way, through legal and health sector reform, by changing social norms and attitudes that condone rape and abuse, and improving education and economic opportunities for women and girls. --A portion of the funding must go to support overseas women's organizations to develop their own capacity, and we must provide targeted support for protection of women and girls in humanitarian crises. --This will require resources. We are asking for a substantial investment because this is a worldwide problem in need of a global solution. Stopping violence against women and girls and promoting their full participation in society is not just an end in itself. It is critical to achieving our development goals, from fighting HIV/AIDS to reducing poverty, and it is the essential missing element in our efforts to promote civil society and guarantee our own security. Much of the support here in Congress to address violence against women emanates from high-profile emergencies like the crises in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's a commendable impulse to respond to emergencies, but violence against women and girls is an emergency every day. We need a response that is sustained and durable enough to address not just today's emergencies, but those that lie ahead. The days of piecemeal solutions must end. It is time for a bold and transformative piece of legislation. We need this Congress to pass--and fund--the International Violence Against Women Act. Senator Kaufman. Thank you. Dr. Gupta and Ms. Soler gave some ideas for the International Violence Against Women Act. Ambassador Steinberg, General Cammaert, do you have any suggestions on things that you think should be in the International Violence Against Women Act? Ambassador Steinberg. Thank you, Mr. Senator. Absolutely. I'm concerned that, in much of the international effort within the United Nations, but also within the United States, there is an absence of accountability mechanisms, an absence of measurement, and an absence of time- bound goals. It is all very well to talk about process and to talk about resources allocation, but the real question is, Are we having an impact on the ground? Are women in Eastern Congo safer? Can that woman protest in the streets of Guinea without being raped? Can girls return to school in Afghanistan? And so, I would very strongly urge accountability mechanisms to be put in there that relate to time-bound goals in the area of reducing violence and enhancing the participation of women in peace processes. I also wanted just briefly to say that, as we talk about sexual violence against women, it is part and parcel of the question of women's empowerment. We heard about the statistics regarding the reduction in violence against women when they're economically powered. It is the exact same phenomenon when they are empowered in political environments, as well as social environments. And that's an area we don't focus enough on. Within most of the countries that are impacted by violence, there are quotas that promote women's participation in political life, as well as peace processes. In fact, more countries globally have such quotas than don't. And, I think it is imperative, especially for the United Nations, but also for the United States, to encourage that participation. Senator Kaufman. Thank you. General, do you have---- General Cammaert. Three points, if I may. The first one is to have a stronger focus on the participation of female military and police. The United States is--has Armed Forces--and I think they're No. 1 in the world with most female officers in their ranks. And it would be extremely helpful if female officers could be part of a U.N. peacekeeping operation, joining the joint protection teams to reach out to the local population--in particular, to the women and girls; because they are not talking to males, but they're talking to females. Second is training of the new Congolese Army, for instance, or new armies of other failed states where a U.N. peacekeeping operation is in operation, to make sure that they understand what sexual violence against women and girls means. And they do not understand at this moment. The third point is the training of peacekeepers, which is extremely important, because people from the highlands of the Himalayas or the lowlands of the Netherlands arrive suddenly in Ngungu, in the eastern part of the Congo, and then face a situation, during a night patrol led by a young corporal, and then face a 13-year-old girl being gang-raped by six FARDC Congolese soldiers. What are you going to do? If they are not prepared for that, then they might turn and walk away. Or, commanders should be trained by experts of the U.S. Armed Forces in what does ``protection of civilians under imminent threat'' means, because they are the ones who has to make the decisions to go after perpetrators. For instance, I remember a situation where 47 women and girls were locked up in their huts, and burned alive. We knew where the perpetrators were, but is there an imminent threat that they will do it again? That is the question, then, that a commander must ask himself before he starts to operate. If he doesn't understand; if he's not in the frame of mind of what ``protection of civilians under imminent threat'' means, and ``sexual/gender-based violence,'' he will not take action, because he says, ``It is not imminent.'' Well, if there is a precedent in the past, then they will do it again. So, that kind of training, that kind of making people aware, and that kind of frame of mind, is something that this act will help to develop. Senator Kaufman. Great. Ms. Soler and Dr. Gupta, what should we be most concerned about with regard to violence against women, in the international context--the scale of the brutality, the lack of services, lack of government prevention and protection? Which of these are---- Ms. Soler. I think they're all a great concern. I think what we realize is, the level of violence and brutality is so widespread and so pandemic. We, as a nation, care deeply about stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. We care deeply about that, but if we don't do something about stopping sexual violence, we won't be able to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. It is related to all the issues we care about. And that's why I think it's really important. We've heard today about young girls walking to school and getting acid thrown at them. If they can't get to school, and they are being violated on their path to school, we're not going to change the world order. And that's what this is all about. So, whether it's stopping HIV/AIDS or getting young girls to school, if we don't stop violence, we won't get those things met. Dr. Gupta. Just to reiterate that, I think that violence against women is the single most significant barrier to women being able to access services or take advantage of all of the economic investments that we make in developing countries for women--which are limited, but even those that are there, they cannot access, or use as much, because of violence against them. So, it a single greatest barrier that is rooted in a social-normative context but has, also, links to poverty, to education, things that we can do something about. So, that is the point I wanted to make through my testimony today, that, in order to root out violence in a society, we need multiple economic-development strategies. We need education, we need health services to be aware that this could be a barrier, and be ready to respond to it. We need to be able to have community programs and civil society engagement, not just among women's organizations, but programs that include men and boys with women to, sort of, end the acceptability of violence against women. We need all of those things happening simultaneously. We often, in the United States, in foreign assistance, imagine that there is a single magic bullet, and somehow that seems more palatable, you know, if we can invest in one thing. This really requires a comprehensive approach, and I hope that that's the way the United States will take leadership. I also wanted to comment on something that was said earlier about the need for the United States--that Senator Kerry mentioned--about the need for the United States to take the high moral ground, to show moral leadership, internationally. I just want to point out that that will have much greater credibility if the United States ratifies CEDAW, the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. [Applause.] Dr. Gupta. Without ratifying CEDAW, the United States lacks a certain international credibility to be a true global partner with other countries in calling attention to violence against women. Senator Kaufman. That's exactly--example of what--the things we have to do, going forward, just one of the examples. Can you talk--anybody talk about, kind of, the fact that, when you don't have--when you have violence against women in a country, it really hurts their economic development? Some of these countries are underdeveloped. There's a payoff, if they can deal with these kind of things, in terms of their economic development, right? Dr. Gupta. No question about it. There is an economic payoff, and the economic-efficiency argument, that you would increase economic productivity, is just the other side of the coin of human rights. It's--equity for women and economic efficiency go hand in hand. You can't get one without the other. So, it's not an either/or argument. We make the argument about investments in women giving us a high return, But that investment can only happen if countries believe in women's human rights. Senator Kaufman. Ambassador Steinberg, the chairman wanted me to follow up on your remarks about your experience as a peace negotiator and your failure to have women at the negotiating table. Could you please talk--elaborate on that a little bit, and some of the examples of where women have been included, and what the effect has been? Ambassador Steinberg. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, there isn't a lot of empirical evidence in this area. There aren't enough data points. It's a very difficult argument to prove. But, any of us who have been involved in this exercise know for a fact that as you build civil society's--and in particular, women's--support for and engagement in an agreement, you create a better agreement that's easier to implement and that addresses the root causes of conflict. A few examples that I would cite of failure to do that. In the Darfur Peace Accords that were signed in 2006, there were six rounds of that negotiation where there wasn't a single woman involved in any aspect of it. In the seventh round, we got women to the table. I participated in training them to take part in that process. And they changed the agreement in some pretty significant ways, but by then, the agreement was pretty much set in stone and it was a flawed agreement. It did not include women participating in the process, it did not include Arab tribesmen, it did not include internally displaced people. And then, when the warring parties went on the ground and said to the Darfur people, ``We need your support for this,'' their response was, ``This isn't our agreement. This is the agreement of the military forces of the government and the military forces of the rebel groups,'' and the agreement was stillborn. The same phenomenon has occurred in Angola, and I would also argue that a very similar phenomenon took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Women were finally involved, in the last part of a negotiation in Sun City, but they were shunted off into ante rooms when the real negotiations were taking place. And again, the failure to involve civil society in these efforts destroyed the concept of collective peacebuilding and thus undercut popular support for the agreement. One of the key steps that we need to take here, in addition, is to get more women as mediators and negotiators. UNIFEM has reviewed some 300 agreements signed over the course of the past couple of decades, and not a single woman led the negotiation for any of those agreements. Of those 300 agreements, only 18 even referred to sexual violence against women in any way, shape, or form. No mention of sexual violence was made in agreements for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Bosnia, where sexual violence was at the heart of this process. We need to convince those who are negotiating the agreement of the simple fact that their peace process is going nowhere unless women are at the table, shaping the agreement and helping to implement it subsequently. Senator Kaufman. Great, thank you. General, you discussed the reasons why rape is used as a weapon of war. We talked about it a little earlier, in the first panel. It's destabilized communities, it prolongs conflict; that's clear. But, is it a tactic of war, where there is not a preexisting lack of respect and value in women? General Cammaert. Absolutely. Absolutely. I cannot agree more. Senator Kaufman. Is there anything we can do, knowing that that's going to happen in a country, to deal with the problem, and the cultural problem? Or is---- General Cammaert. I always say that the problems in, for instance, the eastern part of the Congo, is a political problem. As long as the problems there are not addressed politically, and try to solve them militarily, there will never be peace. And the offensive against the FDLR-Interahamwe has raised 800,000 internally displaced people. And you hear, now, testimonies of women who are saying, ``In the village, we are raped by the FARDC,'' the Congolese army, ``and outside the village, we are raped by the FDLR-Interahamwe.'' That is the situation. And we have, on the record, testimonies of militias and rebels who are deliberately targeting communities to destroy the communities and put leverage on the government to give in to, and make concessions to, the rebel group. That is very, very alarming. Senator Kaufman. Can anybody talk about--How do you interpret these kind of acts against women and young girls continuing in so many countries, on so many continents? What's the driving force for this? And can you name the factors that we can do a better job of ameliorating this? Ms. Soler. Well, I think we have to do a better job. I think there are multiple factors--I mean, there are multiple factors in the United States---- Senator Kaufman. Yes. Ms. Soler [continuing]. About why violence against women and girls exists. And I think that the one thing that we do know is, when the laws change and society says, ``No more,'' and it's unacceptable, and you put programs in place to prevent and intervene effectively, then you start seeing a reduction in the level of violence against women and girls. We saw it here in the United States. There was a report, that was released yesterday by the Bureaus of Justice Statistics; there's a 53-percent decline on adult aggravated assault against women, and that's because, many years ago, with your assistance, we put in place a comprehensive response. Is it because it's a learned behavior? Is it because it's endorsed by the culture in society? It's all of those things. But, what we do know is that there are programs in these countries around the world that work. And we do know, in our own country, when we put programs in place that work, we affect the problem. And the problem is so big, it is destroying so many lives, it is making sure that young girls are not getting to school, HIV/AIDS is spreading, and it is also a security problem, that we heard very clear on this panel and the panel before. So, whatever we need to do, we need to do it now. Now is the time. It is the time for our leadership as a country. It is a core value for Americans that we need to do something that is the destroying the lives of so many women and children around the world. And the good news is, we have programs that work, and, as my colleague said, we need to scale those up, because, when we scaled them up in this country, we started seeing change. And every girl and every woman and every child and every man, they deserve that around the world. And that's what this is all about. And that's what we need to do. Senator Kaufman. Dr. Gupta. Dr. Gupta. If I can just add to that. You know, we often hide behind the excuse that, ``The ill treatment of women is a cultural issue or it's a religious issue. And what can U.S. foreign assistance do about that?'' It's not--first of all, culture is not immutable. Senator Kaufman. Right. Dr. Gupta. Cultures can change. Second, we do know, from data and evidence and experience, that policies and programs can catalyze those changes, that civil society strengthening can catalyze those changes. So, we do know what to do. It's a question of being able to do it at a scale at which it needs to be done in order to bring about those changes, and to make the arguments that we need to make in order to make the case to governments that, if we--if the economic-cost argument is the one that works in a particular instance, we should make those costs. But, fundamentally, it's a devaluing of women's rights globally that's causing this problem. And we have to change that, because, as a world, we will all be held behind. All of this economic growth that you see in emerging economies is going to be capped at some point if women are dragging behind. Senator Kaufman. I think I ought to say, ``Yes we can,'' but I'm not going to. [Laughter.] Does anybody have any other--I mean, I can't top that. I'd like to end on those comments. Does anybody have anything else they want to add? Yes, Ambassador. Ambassador Steinberg. Mr. Chairman, I just want to make the point again that these are really national security issues that we're dealing with. And I wanted to give one example of that, from what is arguably one of the most important issues we're now facing, and that's the situation in Afghanistan. It is remarkable that the Taliban, right now, is making inroads with women's communities in that country, given its abhorrent record, by arguing that, ``You were safer, you were more secure, and you had less corrupt government, when we were in power.'' And if you look at the views of some people in that society, those arguments are actually having some resonance. In part, that is because the Government in Afghanistan, despite some sporadic and regional increases in girls' participation at school and women's participation in government, has essentially made a decision to empower warlords who have atrocious records against women in their past. They are now serving as governors, whereas, in reality, they should be imprisoned for their past activities. We've also seen a situation where the government has sacrificed the rights of women in exchange for political advantage, to buy off traditional opponents. For me, what is most important is that the Afghan administration has not made the argument that, in fact, women's rights are part of Afghan traditional culture and that they are not anti-Islamic. Women's rights are completely consistent with that society. It has ceded the debate to those who are arguing right now, erroneously, that such efforts are alien concepts being imposed on Afghanistan by the West and their Afghan puppets. Unless we change those attitudes, unless we encourage the administration in Kabul to take these issues seriously, to do more to empower women, and to hold accountable those who have committed abuses against them, this insurgency is just going to get worse and worse. Senator Kaufman. Yes. No, I think one of the key things to any counterinsurgency strategy--and that was--we're talking about--is governance and proper governance. I couldn't agree with you more. This is not a battle, in Afghanistan, between us and the Taliban. This is a battle between the government and the Taliban. And to the extent that the government doesn't behave properly and doesn't implement these kinds of things, we're going to lose that battle. So, I think it's absolutely key, and this is just a glaring example of how important it is for us--for the Kabul government to be on the right side of these issues. I want to really thank you all, not just for coming and testifying today--and also the two panelists from the first panel--for everything you do in this area. It's absolutely essential, as you say, for--not just for economic reasons, not just for equity reasons, not just for all the reasons that we know it's the right thing to do, but even for national security reasons. It's the right thing to do. We did change the culture in the United States with the Violence Against Women Act. We can change the culture around the world with the International Violence Against Women Act. Thank you very much. It's adjourned. [Applause.] [Whereupon, at 5 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] ---------- Additional Material Submitted for the Record Prepared Statement of Hon. Richard G. Lugar, U.S. Senator from Indiana I thank Senator Kerry for calling this hearing, and I again commend President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Clinton on the creation of the new position of Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues. I appreciate the work of Melanne Verveer as she has endeavored to raise the profile of women's issues and to strengthen the commitment of the U.S. Government to combating violence against women. One of the biggest obstacles hampering development throughout the world is violence against women. In addition to the devastating physical and emotional impact of such violence, it often prevents girls from going to school, stops women from holding jobs, and limits access to critical health care for women and their children. Programs to address poverty and disease will be seriously encumbered as long as women face violence in their homes and communities. Violence and sexual abuse during conflicts, in post-conflict situations, and in refugee camps are a particular concern. Reports of refugee women being raped while collecting firewood, soldiers sexually abusing girls through bribery with token food items, or women subjected to torture as a tool of war are horrific and all too common. We should place a high priority on improving our ability in crisis situations to work effectively with peacekeeping forces and groups on the ground to establish safeguards for vulnerable women. During the last Congress, I joined with then-Senator Biden in introducing the International Violence Against Women Act. Among other provisions, this legislation provided for the creation of the Office for Women's Global Initiatives. We envisioned that this position would monitor and oversee all U.S. programs and aid abroad that deal with women's issues, including gender-based violence. As the United States seeks to improve its efforts to combat international violence against woman, we should have a much better understanding of the scope of U.S. resources that are currently being applied to the problem. A variety of agencies devote resources and talent to this issue, but their coordination has been haphazard. By centralizing oversight in the Office for Women's Global Initiatives, we sought to improve the prioritization and coordination of our policy. I am eager to learn more about the Obama administration's vision for combating this problem. The committee would benefit from understanding more clearly how U.S. efforts are being coordinated currently and where additional resources can be used most productively. I thank our witnesses and look forward to their testimony. ______ Prepared Statement of Hon. Christopher J. Dodd, U.S. Senator From Connecticut I would like to thank Chairman Kerry for holding this very important hearing today, and I would like to welcome all of our witnesses for their testimony. The subject of this hearing is a very important one to me, and I am glad to see this committee and this administration address it. For too long, women have gotten the short shrift in development and foreign policy. Women's rights, women's health, and violence against women have a history as being designated and denigrated as ``soft'' issues. The goal of ensuring that all women have access to health care, equal protection under law, and the freedom to participate and thrive in society, has too often been seen as a noble but ancillary aspect of foreign policy--not worthy of our full attention, especially at a time when we are fighting two wars, struggling with an international financial crisis, and confronting the scourge of HIV/AIDS and terrorism. The unassailable truth, however, is that promoting women's rights, women's health, and women's empowerment are not simply idealistic moral goals, unconnected to our realpolitik foreign policy and national interests. Rather, they are some of our most effective tools in achieving America's key foreign policy goals and meeting our most difficult challenges. When women thrive, everyone thrives; societies are more stable, economic prosperity increases, families are stronger, maternal and child death rates fall and repressive governments lose their grip. Improving women's and maternal health, stopping the practices of child marriage and female genital mutilation, and combating the trafficking of women and girls are not just fundamental American ideals, they are a strategic imperative. For these reasons, I am thrilled to see that the Obama administration has kept its promise to make the role of women central to our foreign policy. The historic creation of an Ambassador at Large for Women's Issues is a tremendous step forward, and I can think of no one better than Melanie Verveer to fill that role. Secretary Clinton's efforts to bring women's issues to the front and center of the international debate has also done much to highlight the tremendous importance of women in our foreign policy. Throughout my career in public service, I have fought for the rights of women both at home and abroad, and I am happy to join my colleagues, once again, in supporting the International Violence Against Women Act. This is a critical piece of legislation which seeks to protect, and, more importantly, empower the world's mothers and daughters. In the coming days, I also plan to introduce the Newborn, Child and Mother Survival Act, which will empower USAID to implement programs ensuring that mothers are healthy enough not just to survive pregnancy and labor, but also to thrive alongside their children. I would like to once again thank our witnesses for joining us today. I look forward to a productive discussion. ______ Prepared Statement of Hon. Russell D. Feingold, U.S. Senator From Wisconsin I am pleased that Chairman Kerry and Ranking Member Lugar are holding today's hearing to look at how the United States can do more to stop violence against women and girls around the world. Tragically, such violence remains commonplace in many parts of the world, even in our own country. Earlier this year, Senator Boxer and I chaired a joint subcommittee hearing to put the spotlight on rape and violence against women in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. The stories we heard were heartbreaking. In these and many other conflict zones, rape and other forms of gender-based violence are not just outgrowths of war and its brutality--they are weapons of war. We need to look closely at how the U.S. Government and the U.N. can enhance our capabilities to anticipate, prevent, and respond to sexual- and gender-based violence. This includes ensuring that we integrate gender-sensitive approaches into all of our programs, especially peacekeeping and security sector reform. I know this is a priority for Secretary Clinton, demonstrated yesterday as she chaired a historic session of the U.N. Security Council on combating sexual violence in armed conflict. I look forward to working with the chairman, the ranking member, and my colleagues on this committee in the months ahead to support and strengthen the Secretary's efforts. ______ Prepared Statement of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, U.S. Senator From Illinois I thank Chairman Kerry for holding this important hearing on a pervasive human rights abuse that millions of women and girls face around the world. Tragically, sexual violence has been used in a systematic and deliberate way to humiliate, expel and destroy communities in conflicts around the globe. Mass rape has been a feature common to recent conflicts in Bosnia, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. It is appalling that today women and girls are being raped in conflict situations around the world. This reflects a collective failure to stop the use of women's bodies as a battleground. As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, I have focused especially on legal options for holding accountable those who use rape as a military tactic. Last Congress, I held a hearing in the Human Rights Subcommittee on ``Rape as a Weapon of War: Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict.'' The hearing made clear that wartime rape is not inevitable. The widespread prevalence of sexual violence in recent conflicts results in part from the lack of accountability for those who use rape to pursue military or political goals. Government and rebel forces violate human rights with impunity, perpetuating the stigma that surrounds these crimes. Historically, wartime sexual violence was tolerated as an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of conflict. Throughout the 20th century, rape and other forms of sexual violence were included in increasingly specific terms in international agreements on the conduct of war. Prejudice and misconceptions meant these crimes were initially framed as private acts violating family dignity and honor, rather than the violent public crimes they are. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda made significant progress by prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence. That we have moved beyond the not-so-distant debate about whether sexual violence in conflict is a war crime represents an important step. Despite these positive developments, wartime sexual violence and the experience of those women and men who survive it remain invisible far too often. While a growing number of perpetrators of wartime sexual violence have been prosecuted, a much larger number have escaped accountability. The average wartime rapist runs very little risk of being prosecuted. The United States and other countries must play a greater role. I am sorry to say that if a foreign warlord who engaged in mass rape found safe haven in our country today, he would probably be beyond the reach of our laws. It is not a crime under U.S. law for a non-U.S. national to perpetrate sexual violence in conflict against non-U.S. nationals, so the U.S. Government is unable to prosecute such perpetrators of wartime rape who are found in our country. Earlier this year, I introduced S. 1346, the Crimes Against Humanity Act of 2009. This bill would make it a violation of U.S. law to commit a crime against humanity, which includes mass rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict. The Crimes Against Humanity Act would help ensure that our country does not become a safe haven for the perpetrator of sexual violence in conflict. I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact it into law. In addition to punishing individual perpetrators, governments that tolerate and fail to take steps to stop wartime sexual violence must be held accountable for their actions. At the very least, we must ensure that U.S. tax dollars do not fund state armies that fail to prevent their forces from engaging in mass rape. We must work to end the use of rape as a weapon of war, but as long as the practice persists, we should support programs that provide protection, medical care, psychological services and legal remedies to survivors of wartime sexual violence. I am pleased that Chairman Kerry has organized this hearing to call attention to this issue. I hope this hearing will bring us a step closer to ending impunity for wartime sexual violence and making the world safer for women and girls at risk of sexual violence. ______ Responses of Ambassador at Large Melanne Verveer to Questions Submitted by Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. Question. Training of Afghan Forces: Women and girls in many parts of Afghanistan and the region are confronted daily with violence. Nearly 90 percent of Afghanistan women suffer from domestic abuse, and unfortunately, impunity prevails for almost all of their perpetrators. As the United States Government debates its strategy going forth in Afghanistan, an aspect of this debate must focus on empowering women. It is important that women can meet their full potential because they are a necessary element if Afghanistan is going to succeed in the future. Ambassador Verveer, in your statement you outline a number of initiatives that the United States is taking to fund NGOs that are women-focused. What, if any, initiatives are you taking to ensure that when the United States trains the Afghan police and armed forces that these forces are also being taught about gender equity and protecting not committing crimes against women and girls? How can this committee help you ensure that this type of training is occurring? Answer. Your assessment is absolutely correct about the importance of training police and armed forces on gender equity in order to protect women and girls. The State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) implements a number of programs worldwide to help develop post-conflict law enforcement and criminal justice systems, including the capacity to address gender issues. It is critical to reform the security sector and sensitize the police and military on human rights and gender-based violence because they are supposed to be at the forefront, ensuring that these acts don't occur. In post-conflict societies, we often see increased rates of violence against women including incidents of domestic violence, rape (often used as a political tool of oppression), and other criminal attacks. Therefore, gender issues are fundamentally intertwined with institutional and societal reform of the criminal justice sector. In 2005, INL opened the first Family Response Unit (FRU) in Kabul to help address gender-based violence and family issues such as kidnappings, spousal abuse, rape/sexual abuse, and forced marriage. The FRUs also provide women, children, and families a safe and supportive place to file a police report and offer mediation and resources to families to prevent future violence. Today, INL supports police mentors at 22 FRUs attached to police stations in seven provinces (Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Konduz, Jawzjan, Takhar, and Bamiyan). Eleven full time American civilian police mentors and three mentor supervisors provide training and mentoring to the officers from each FRU, who are predominantly female, including specialized assistance in addressing domestic violence cases. Police mentors are also actively working to link FRUs increasingly with shelters, social services, and prosecutors who can try gender-based violence cases. Since their establishment, the FRUs have handled an increasing number of investigations, including cases of domestic violence. For example, in 2008 FRU officers conducted nearly 800 investigations nationwide; in 2007, 348 cases; and in 2006, 199 cases. As of September 2009, they investigated 340 cases. Since September 2007, INL has provided funding to an Afghan NGO to establish and operate a transit shelter for female victims of gender- based violence. As part of this grant, the organization designed a domestic violence training curriculum for police officers that introduces types of gender-based violence, women's rights under the law, procedures for dealing with victims of domestic violence with sensitivity and respect, and available government and nongovernmental resources for women in need, including how to use the shelter's referral system. In 2008, the organization trained approximately 250 male and female police officers in Kabul. Based on the successful outcome of this pilot training program, this program will provide the training to an additional 300 police officers in 2009. INL also established a Women's Police Corp (WPC) curriculum to address the special needs of female police trainees. WPC basic 8-week training is currently held in a dedicated women-only police training facility in Kabul. Since the WPC training began in December 2008, 107 female police officers have successfully completed the WPC training course. From 2003 through July 31, 2009, a total of 525 female ANP (including the 107 who completed the WPC training) have participated in INL-led trainings. While not directly related to your question, I think it's important to mention the important work INL is doing related to prison reform, including women's prisons, in Afghanistan. Through the Corrections System Support Program (CSSP), INL is training female corrections officers to improve their professionalism and the conditions for female prisoners. Through CSSP, one doctor was provided to Kabul Women's Prison and four vocational and one literacy instructor to the Herat Women's Prisons. When I was in Afghanistan earlier this summer, I saw firsthand the product of INL's work at the women's prison in Kabul. Many of the inmates had been charged for simply committing the ``crime'' of escaping abuse at home. They are receiving training and vocational education which will help empower them economically after they leave prison. Question. I applaud the Afghanistan Parliament's passage of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Act in Afghanistan in September 2009, but I am concerned about the Afghan Government's ability and willingness to enforce the law. What is the United States doing to ensure that the Afghan justice system is doing its part to enforce women's rights laws? Answer. Promoting an independent judiciary and the rule of law are critical components to addressing gender-based violence. When victims are not educated about their rights under the law, have little judicial recourse and perpetrators are met with impunity, it helps create an environment where human rights abuses and violence against women are rampant. The $26.3 million Ambassador's small grants program will provide technical assistance and small grants to women-focused Afghan NGOs in accordance with the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA). We will make sure that some of this funding helps build the capacity of Afghan NGOs at the grassroots level to engage in advocacy efforts for the enforcement of women's rights laws, including the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law. In recent meetings I've had with Afghan women judges and leaders of civil society, they underscored the need for capacity-building so that they can help ensure laws are enforced and are effective. To complement its effort to train police about domestic violence, INL is actively engaged in the broader effort to reform and build Afghan justice sector institutions' capacity to respond to violations of the law, including gender crimes. INL has spearheaded several efforts specifically geared toward improving Afghanistan's legal framework to protect women and girls and building the justice sector's capacity to respond to cases of gender crimes and domestic violence. My office is working closely with INL to ensure that women's empowerment is part of the larger rule of law strategy. In 2008 and 2009, INL reviewed Afghanistan's draft Shia Family law and the EVAW law and provided recommendations to enhance protections for women; mentored male and female defense attorneys; conducted a series of gender justice victim advocacy trainings for government and nongovernmental personnel in Nangarhar and Parwan provinces; and conducted gender justice trainings for justice sector personnel in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Logar, and Baghlan provinces. Both INL and my office remain committed to further enhancing the capacity of the broader justice sector in Afghanistan to respond to gender crimes and domestic violence. To this end, 17 Afghan women judges have participated in INL-sponsored legal education study trips to the United States that focus on judicial leadership for women and gender quality. This effort also seeks to support Afghanistan's women judges in the reestablishment of an Afghan Women Judges Association. While a 2007 Supreme Court decree prohibits Afghan judges from joining professional associations, the Department of State is raising this issue with the Government of Afghanistan and urging the Supreme Court to reestablish this association, which will be a powerful professional resource for Afghan women judges. INL also provides training and mentoring on a variety of criminal law issues to female and male Afghan lawyers, police officers, and other Afghans throughout the country targeted at those who deal with gender-based violence and crimes against women through its Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP). JSSP supports specialized gender justice trainings as well as the integration of gender themes and violence against women into their general training courses. In 2008, 331 women (and 1,476 men) participated in JSSP trainings and professional development opportunities, including gender justice. From January to mid-August 2009, 109 women (and 905 men) participated in JSSP trainings and professional development opportunities. Question. As you stated in your testimony, you are working with Ambassador Eikenberry to provide grants to NGOs who focus on women's issues in Afghanistan. What actions are you taking to amplify and replicate the positive results of these initiatives throughout Afghanistan? Answer. As I mentioned in my testimony, Ambassador Eikenberry and I announced the start of the Ambassador's small grants program to support gender equality in Afghanistan. The 3-year, $26.3 million program will provide technical assistance and small grants to women-focused Afghan NGOs in accordance with the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA). The program will offer flexible, rapid-response grants to NGOs that address the needs of Afghan women in the areas of education, health, skills training, counseling on family issues, and public advocacy. In both organization and focus, the program is to be Afghan-led as well as integrated into the work of the Embassy, including that of the PRTs based throughout Afghanistan. USAID will manage $20.3 million of the program over 26 months through a cooperative agreement to the privately owned NGO Creative Associates. This grant will be implemented in close coordination with Embassy personnel to ensure that the grant specifications are met and that women throughout the country benefit from the funds. An additional fund ($500,000 for FY 2009) will be provided to the Embassy's Political and Public Affairs section to provide rapid small grants to women's political and human rights advocacy organizations. The Embassy will pay particular attention to ways they can help Afghan women address the demands of their country's fluid political situation and to respond in particular to sudden or unforeseen legislative and other developments that require immediate action. Funds will also be used to support organizations and projects based on recommendations from Senior Embassy leader travel throughout the provinces and recommendations from Senior Civilian Representatives and PRTs. Directly associating the Embassy with regionally and provincially targeted grants to women's and human rights organizations will send a strong message that the U.S. supports these issues, thus raising the profile of women's rights. My office is working closely with our Embassy in Kabul and colleagues at USAID to ensure that our assistance is well coordinated, addresses the major issues confronted by women and girls, and is sustainable. In addition, we are committed to ensuring that the $150 million allocated for Afghan women and girls in the FY 2009 budget addresses their specific needs at the grassroots level and throughout Afghanistan, and are working to ensure that the programs are implemented with specific outcomes to ensure the most impact. By focusing our attention on the women and girls of Afghanistan, we are emphasizing the message that the United States understands that progress in Afghanistan must be measured not just in military terms, but also in terms of the social, political, and economic participation of women in rebuilding Afghanistan and in safeguarding their human rights. Question. Technical Capacity: The International Violence Against Women's Act would codify in law your current office, the Office of Global Women's Issues. In doing so, it would also create a Women's Development Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Whenever we discuss creating new offices we must ensure that they have the human capital necessary to fulfill the intended mission. The mission that the Office of Global Women's Issues will carry out is important. Ambassador Verveer, at this time how many employees at the Department of State and USAID work on gender issues? How many employees would you need in addition to the ones you have now to carry out your mandate? Answer. The Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI) currently has 11 full-time professional and administrative staff. USAID's Office of Women in Development (WID) has nine. These numbers are small, but they do not represent the entire picture. S/GWI and WID staff work full time on gender issues, but a broad network of offices with whom we coordinate incorporate gender issues into their wider portfolios. Within the State Department, a number of offices regularly address gender issues within the scope of their other work, including: the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP), the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO), the Economic Bureau (EB), and the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R). Offices within the Department that have regional responsibilities--Africa (AF), East Asia/Pacific (EAP), European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR), Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), and Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA)--also include women's issues as part of their missions to cover the totality of their geographic area, and often support embassy-based programs for women's empowerment. Within USAID, a number of offices other than WID also have some programs on gender issues, such as the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which supports protection and emergency health programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu and Orientale provinces, including medical services for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and gender-based violence (GBV) survivors. This scope is further widened by USAID's partner NGOs. Although we are seeking a few additional positions within S/GWI for additional programmatic and coordination work, the most effective progress toward fulfilling our mandate will come from our efforts to mainstream gender issues and awareness into each office and bureau within the State Department--in effect, turning a large cadre of talented officers throughout the Department into part-time adjunct employees of our office.