Campaigns to have International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) enacted into law have intensified with Betty Makoni, CNN Hero 2009 for `Protecting the Powerless` joining Women Thrive Worldwide and millions of campaigners in the US on Congressional Briefing on Violence Against Women scheduled for September 16th 2010 at Capitol Hill in Washington DC .
Recent events in Africa where a seven year old girl was forced to marry and where a 14 year old girl had her ears and fingers sliced off by her father in law in Tanzania for playing out with friends and shunning her role of being a wife are clearly some testimonies Betty Makoni will brief the congress about.
Herself a victim of rape at age 6, Betty Makoni, rescued over 35000 girls in Zimbabwe raped mostly because of the myth that virgins cure HIV and AIDS. Her innovative strategy to transform victims into survivors and leaders walking in the fullness of their potential has been globally awarded .If IVAWA is enacted into law, the US will support grassroots organisations for women and girls like Girl Child Network to implement projects to eliminate violence against women and girls.
“I am calling upon every man ,woman, boy and girl to come on board and support enactment of IVAWA into law. I hail efforts by Women Thrive Worldwide and many other activists who have been so thoughtful. With what is currently going on in the DRC where babies have been raped and women used as weapons of war , IVAWA will go a long way in saving lives `,said Betty Makoni who will be on a two week long tour of USA educating Congressmen and women about why it is critical to enact IVAWA.
In some latest developments, a number of renowned gender activists including lawyers, journalists ,musicians and academics in Africa have thrown their weight behind Betty Makoni`s road to the US congress to campaign for IVAWA to be enacted .
Renowned female protest musician ,Vio Mak from Zimbabwe has produced a debut child sexual abuse video summarising gross violations of girls rights in Africa .It is estimated millions of girls have lost their lives in what is believed to be a silent genocide in the home through harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation ,rape ,forced marriage ,physical beatings ,accusations of witchcraft and this has undermined the full physical and spiritual development of a girl into a woman leader walking in the fullness of her potential .The number of women and girls who have died as a result of violence is estimated to be over 30 million per year worldwide.