Zonta International is a global organization of women and men dedicated to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.
Women and girls fleeing emergencies risk rape, violence and exploitation on the road to safety. Now, COVID-19 has the potential to make gender-based violence in crises even worse.
The Safe from the Start Act (H.R. 571) would keep women and girls safe from violence, early marriage and other injustices in emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the act is to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence (GBV), ensure quality support for survivors from the very beginning of emergencies through timely and effective humanitarian action, and promote standards for prevention, mitigation and response to such crises.
The Safe from the Start Act would:
- Help humanitarian aid workers prevent GBV and more effectively address an increase in acts of violence by equipping them with skills, protocols, and other tools to inform what they need to know and do.
- Lead to better responses to GBV in humanitarian settings, including GBV exacerbated by COVID-19.
- Ensure that those responding to humanitarian emergencies can effectively identify and address GBV from the onset of a crisis, giving women and girls greater opportunities to help prevent such violence and contribute towards improving the safety of their communities.
- Make U.S. contributions toward humanitarian aid stronger and more effective by both protecting and empowering the women and girls affected by conflict and disaster.
- Empower women and girls to be agents of change in their communities, particularly during times of crisis.
- Make clear that the U.S. stands alongside the millions of women and girls caught in crises across the world.
These issues are a matter of life and death for many women and girls caught in crises. Ask your representative today to support the passage of H.R. 571 and protect women and girls from gender-based violence.