In a significant step towards addressing gender-based violence, the White House has introduced the inaugural U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. This comprehensive roadmap builds upon previous federal legislation and aims to ensure the safety of those affected by such violence.
(Read Also: President Biden and First Lady Welcome LSU Women’s Basketball Team to White House; Ceremony Briefly Paused as Player Appears to Pass Out)
The report’s definition of gender-based violence encompasses any form of harmful threat or action targeted at individuals or groups based on their perceived or actual sex, gender, gender identity, sex characteristics, or sexual orientation. It includes various categories such as sexual violence (rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment), domestic violence, stalking, certain types of human trafficking, family violence, sexual exploitation, and gender-related hate crimes.
Government’s Commitment to Combat GBV
The Biden-Harris Administration expressed its pride in launching the National Plan, emphasizing that freedom from domestic violence, sexual assault, and all forms of gender-based violence is a fundamental human right. The plan serves as a crucial guide for the Federal government’s future endeavors in addressing and preventing GBV.
Established by President Biden in March 2021 through an executive order, the White House Gender Policy Council is responsible for advancing gender equality and equity in both domestic and foreign policy. Previously, the council formulated a national strategy on gender equity and equality in October 2021.
The report acknowledges historical efforts to combat gender-based violence dating back to the 1970s. Notably, the Violence Against Women Act, a federal legislation, played a pivotal role. This act mandated jurisdictions to honor protection orders issued anywhere in the country and recognized domestic abuse across state lines as a federal crime.
(Also Read: White House and Congressional Republicans Close to Reaching Deal on Debt Ceiling Increase for Two-Year Period)
Seven Pillars of the Federal Strategy
The report outlines seven fundamental pillars constituting the federal strategy against gender-based violence. These pillars are as follows: prevention; support, healing, safety and well-being; economic security and housing stability; online safety; legal and justice systems; emergency preparedness and crisis response; and research and data.
Each pillar further encompasses specific goals and tailored objectives aimed at achieving the overall mission. Examples of these goals include raising public awareness, investing in research to enhance data collection, ensuring survivors have access to secure and affordable long-term housing, and expanding justice-seeking options for survivors.
Inclusion of Diverse Stakeholders
The White House acknowledges the invaluable contributions of survivors, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and community members who have spearheaded efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Their leadership and progress have played a crucial role in shaping the plan. The collaborative efforts of all federal government aspects will be required to implement the plan successfully.
Federal agencies will execute the plan through four main methods, namely strategic planning and budgeting, policy and program development, measurement and data analysis, and management and training. These approaches will enable effective coordination and execution of the plan’s objectives.