Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center

Zonta International is a global organization of individuals 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.

Protect Central American women and girls
Central America has increased levels of sexual and gender-based violence against women and children, including domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Conviction rates for violence against women is just under 5%. 

The bipartisan Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2021 (S. 2003 and H.R. 4017) would protect women and children in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras from domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, and hold perpetrators of these acts accountable for their actions.

The bill would authorize the U.S. State Department to enter into bilateral agreements, known as Women and Children Protection Compacts, with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Specifically, the Central American Women and Children Protection Act will:

  • Strengthen the compact countries’ criminal justice systems and civil protection courts.
  • Secure, create and sustain safe communities, building on current place-based approaches to prevent and deter violence against women and children.
  • Ensure schools are safe and promote the prevention and early detection of gender-based and domestic abuse within communities in the compact countries.

“Women and children in Central America deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes. We have to do more to address the root causes of migration, and this proposal is an important part of that effort,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA).

The Central American Women and Children Protection Act previously passed out of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress. It was reintroduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in June 2021 and by Congresswomen Norma Torres and Ann Wagner (R-MO) in August. Please urge your senators and representative to co-sponsor and support S. 2003 and H.R. 4017. If they have already sponsored or co-sponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks.

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