Obama issues exec order to protect women

Aug. 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order Friday on preventing violence against women and girls and promoting gender equality.

The order was made to "further enhance the administration's efforts to advance the rights and status of women and girls, to promote gender equality in U.S. foreign policy, and to bring about a world in which all individuals can pursue their aspirations without the threat of violence," the White House said in a release.

One in three women worldwide have been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused, the White House said, adding the scale of violence is "tremendous, the scope is vast, and the consequences for individuals, families, communities and countries are devastating."

The executive order directs U.S. departments and agencies to implement the Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally by cracking down on human trafficking, sexual violence, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called honor killings.

The order also mandates an interagency working group to update the strategy after three years.

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