In reaction to the introduction of the Safe from the Start Act today, Oxfam America’s President, Abby Maxman, made the following statement:
“We applaud the introduction of the Safe from the Start Act of 2019 under the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). The bill will help combat gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies across the globe.
“This bill not only seeks to protect women by focusing on prevention, monitoring and accountability, but it also acknowledges the power that they have by working to promote women’s leadership and empowerment, and by highlighting the need to coordinate with women led organizations.
“We are also thrilled to see this bill acknowledge the need to focus on prevention of exploitation and abuse within the Humanitarian Sector through safeguarding processes and procedures.
“Today, our world is plagued by gender inequality. 59 countries do not have laws protecting women from sexual harassment and 36 countries do not have laws or aggravated penalties on domestic violence.
“We welcome any effort to work with other nations and with women themselves to ensure the risk of violence and exploitation do not increase in times of crisis.”