Congressional Testimony

Thursday, November 21, 2013

USAID views our assistance programs in the North Africa region as an investment in protecting our national interests and in building long-term partnerships with the people and the governments of those countries. USAID programs will continue to provide the seeds for future innovation and technology, to advance economic prosperity and growth, and to strengthen regional stability and security. The countries and peoples in North Africa continue to face significant challenges, but also significant opportunities. We will continue to support them through these political and economic transitions. While we recognize that our budgets are facing increasing pressures, we are aligning our programs to address the challenges and opportunities facing the region. We also know that our continued engagement in this region is vital to maintaining relationships with key allies, promoting stability, countering extremist threats in the Middle East and North Africa and advancing our key strategic interests.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gender-based violence cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international borders. An estimated one in three women worldwide is beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.  Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence experienced by women globally. An appalling 38% of all murders of women globally were reported being committed by their intimate partners. Gender-based violence can also take the form of harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, so-called “honor killings,” bride abductions, and child marriage. An estimated 10 million girls are married every year before they reach 18.  Child marriage is a practice that increases a girl’s risk of school dropout, maternal mortality, short birth intervals, and vulnerability to other forms of gender-based violence, a