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Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Office of International Women's Issues
International Women's Issues Archives

International Women's Issues Archives

Office of International Women’s Issues Director Andrea G. Bottner (left) meets with Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Chairwoman Pham Phuong Thao in Vietnam to discuss domestic violence.  State Department image.

Highlighting Gender-Based Violence Prevention Efforts in Vietnam

During her visit to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in June 2008, Andrea Bottner, Director, Office of International Women’s Issues, highlighted progress made and discussed ongoing challenges related to the prevention of and response to domestic violence in Vietnam. 

In meetings with Government of Vietnam officials, the Vietnam Women’s Union, as well as local and international non-governmental organizations and media, Ms. Bottner praised the passage of two pieces of positive legislation impacting women, the 2006 Law on Gender Equality and the 2007 Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, which will be validated in July 2008.  More  | Media Note

Senior Coordinator Andrea Bottner, right, hugs the Colombian 2008 International Woman of Courage Award Nominee in Colombia.  State Department image.Director Andrea Bottner Visits Colombian International Woman of Courage Award Nominee
May 6, 2008

Director Andrea Bottner recently honored embassy Bogota’s nominee for the Secretary of State’s 2008 International Women of Courage award, Colombian National Police Captain, Erika Pedraza Murillo. Captain Pedraza puts herself in harm’s way on the front lines of Colombia’s counter-narcotics and counter-terror fight as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. Captain Pedraza is a powerful role model for women in Colombia, especially given the hurdles she has overcome as a single mother in the traditionally male-dominated aviation field. While in Colombia Ms Bottner flew with Captain Pedraza to witness first hand the danger she faces on a daily basis. More

Child with anti-human trafficking poster.  AP ImageDirector Andrea Bottner Delivers Remarks on Human Trafficking
May 2, 2008

"Through forums like this, we continue our dialogue, and more importantly, we continue to identify ways we can further support our shared vision of an America, and a world, where the inherent dignity and worth of every human life is fully realized and human trafficking no longer exists."  Full Text 


Senior Coordinator Andrea Bottner leads a panel discussion on March 12, 2008 at the State Department. State Department image.Panel Focuses on Violence Against Women at Senior Roundtable for Women’s Justice

Director Andrea G. Bottner led a panel discussion at the March 12, 2008 Senior Roundtable for Women’s Justice entitled, “Case Study: The San Diego Family Justice Center.”  The San Diego Family Justice Center (FJC) was featured and discussed as a model and best practice in domestic violence intervention and prevention.  The panel included remarks by the founder of the FJC model, CEO for the YWCA of San Diego County and President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance, Casey Gwinn and Sue Else, President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund.  An expert in domestic violence, Ms. Else has provided essential technical assistance for the Family Justice Centers in the U.S.  Continued

Ambassador Patricia BristerAmbassador Patricia Brister Leads U.S. Delegation to the 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
February 27, 2008

Ambassador Patricia Brister led the U.S. delegation to the 52nd session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) this year.  Three individuals were appointed to be Public Delegates to this year’s session of the CSW. The three are: Mary Taylor of Columbus, Ohio; Mary F. Buestrin of Mequon, Wisconsin; and Manda Zand Ervin of Ellicott City, Maryland. Director Andrea G. Bottner of the International Women’s Issues Office at the State Department also participated on the delegation along with other State Department officials.  More 

Embassy Warsaw Discusses Violence Against Women Issues With U.S. Experts
Digital Video Conference
December 13, 2007

On December 13, 2007, Andrea Bottner, Director for International Women's Issues participated in a Digital Video Conference arranged by U.S. Embassy in Warsaw with representatives from Polish governmental ministries and non-governmental organizations. Titled “Combating Violence Against Women: Continuing Challenges”, the program discussed victims' assistance centers, legal protection for victims, and prosecution rates of perpetrators. Director Bottner was joined by Mary Beth Buchanan, Acting Director of the Office of Violence Against Women at the US Department of Justice, and Karen Cunningham, Director of Legal Services of WEAVE (Women Empowered against Violence) who discussed the challenges of providing support to victims and increase public awareness of this program.

The representative from the Polish Ministry of Justice invited Andrea Bottner to discuss victims' assistance and rights at a February conference to be held in Warsaw.

Recognizing Violence Against Women: 16 Days for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
(November 25 - December 10)

The dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, were chosen in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

Secretary Rice recently urged embassies to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and to participate in the 16 days of activism by engaging host country governments, civil society and media in the prevention of violence against women. The Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues (G/IWI) is working with embassies around the world to offer support, guidance, and appropriate engagement on strategies to raise awareness about gender based violence.

For example, in Budapest, Hungary, the Office of International Women's Issues is supporting activities to raise awareness about violence against women during the 16 days of activism led by Ambassador April Foley. Andrea Bottner, Director of the Office of International Women's Issues, will deliver remarks and facilitate a roundtable discussion on Domestic Violence in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday, November 27th, followed by a visit to a domestic violence shelter later in the week. She will also address NGO leaders, law enforcement, students and others at a domestic violence conference hosted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. While there, she will also address a conference of the International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT) on Women's Role in Social Transformation. Additionally, Ms. Bottner will participate in a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interview to discuss the causes and social costs of domestic violence, and the measures to combat it.

Violence against women (VAW) exists in epidemic proportions, whether it occurs in the form of domestic abuse; honor-related crimes; sex trafficking; harmful cultural practices; or in the context of war and conflict. This violence has devastating repercussions affecting women's personal health, the family, and the community. Women must be free from this threat in order to fully enjoy their rights and to effectively participate in society.

Eliminating violence against women has long been a goal of the United States and requires a multifaceted strategy that incorporates a variety of legal, educational, health, and infrastructural reforms.

[See what U.S. Embassies & Posts have done: Chile]

Former Justice O'Connor Speaks to Women Ambassadors
Washington, DC
October 30, 2007

Former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day OConnor at a luncheon program for Women Ambassadors hosted by Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky. State Dept. photoFormer Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor spoke on "How Women Have Impacted the Legal Profession" at a luncheon program for Women Ambassadors hosted by Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky on Tuesday, October 30. Ambassadors from Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Liechtenstein, Cape Verde, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo attended. All expressed great interest in Justice O'Connor's insights and discussed how these might be shared with women jurists in their own countries. [more]

Office of International Women's Issues Hosts Luncheon for Delegation of Leading Russian Businesswomen
Washington, DC
October 29, 2007

Russian businesswomen pose with Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues [center], Ambassador Steve Steiner [left]; Lucy Weber, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs [far right]; and Connie Phlipot, Policy Planning staff [top row, 2nd from right].Director for International Women's Issues Andrea Bottner hosted a working luncheon on October 29 for a delegation of ten high powered Russian businesswomen who were visiting the U.S. as part of the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Russian diplomatic relations. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia James Collins, American businesswomen Karen Kerrigan and Yvonne Boice, and Department of State officials engaged the Russian visitors in a lively discussion of the obstacles facing women in business, the needs of the Russian businesswomen as they grow their businesses, and corporate social responsibility. [more]

Roundtable With Afghan Women Judges
Washington, DC
October 4, 2007

On October 4, the Director for International Women's Issues, Andrea Bottner, opened a roundtable for three visiting Afghan women judges organized by the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The judges were in the United States on an INL-funded training program. In her opening remarks, Ms. Bottner underscored the U.S. Government's commitment to strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan and pointed to the INL program as an important manifestation of this interest. She also noted briefly the human rights progress Afghanistan has made but the challenges to women's human rights that still remain. The Afghan judges elaborated on the numerous challenges confronting them and appealed to the international community for continued engagement in assisting women and the legal system, including helping to increase the number of women judges and police. The judges also stressed the importance of education, for both men and women, in general.

Liz Claiborne Foundation's Time to Talk Day
New York City
September 25, 2007

Senior Coordinator Andi Bottner conducting radio interviews at Liz Claiborne Foundation's Time to Talk Day in New York City on September 25, 2007.Andrea Bottner, Director, Office of International Women's Issues, participated in a "radio row" event on domestic violence entitled, It's Time to Talk Day. Sponsored by the Liz Claiborne foundation in New York City, several national talk radio show hosts gathered at the Liz Claiborne headquarters to interview experts on efforts to combat violence against women. Ms. Bottner discussed the Administration's programs to combat gender based violence in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bolivia and explained assistance to victims, training and technical support for law enforcement officials, programs for women's empowerment and girls' education. [more]

U.S. Embassy Ceremony Honoring Dr. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
July 16-19, 2007

Senior Coordinator for Womens Issues Andrea Bottner with Dr. Ruth Halperin-KaddariDirector Andrea Bottner traveled to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in July to participate in the U.S. Embassy's ceremony honoring Dr. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari as a recipient of the Secretary's Award for International Women of Courage, and to meet with women leaders in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Dr. Halperin-Kaddari is the Director of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Law. The Secretary's Award was presented in recognition of Dr. Halperin-Kaddari's role in actively eliminating discrimination against women in the State of Israel and in the international arena. In discussing the prestigious honor, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones said "The award is being given to Dr. Halperin-Kaddari for her social leadership and her work for the advancement of women and social change in Israel by means of her expertise in feminism and law."

Ms. Bottner was accompanied by Deborah Emmert, Senior Advisor for the Broader Middle East and North Africa. As part of their visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, they held a number of substantive meetings with women's rights organizations, including the Israel Women's Network, Isha L'Isha (Women to Women), The Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development, the Jerusalem Center for Women, and with Israeli and Palestinian members of the International Women's Commission.

"I am so impressed by the Israeli and Palestinian women I have had the honor to meet with during this trip," said Andi Bottner. "Their activism, and their strength and courage, are to be commended. I applaud their work, and will follow with interest their on-going achievements in women's rights." [more photos]

Policy Forum on Increasing Women's Roles in USG Peace-building, Post Conflict Reconstruction and Stabilization Initiatives
Washington, DC
June 27, 2007

Panelists from left to right: Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator of International Women's Issues; Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group; Beth Ellen Cole, Senior Program Officer at Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Carla Koppell, Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security; and Michele Schimpp, Director of the S/CRS Office of Best Practices and Sector Coordination.On June 27, 2007 the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues (G/IWI) and the Office of the Coordinator for Stabilization and Reconstruction (S/CRS), jointly convened the first Policy Forum in the Department of State on Increasing Women's Roles in USG Peace-building, Post Conflict Reconstruction and Stabilization Initiatives. The forum drew upon both internal USG expertise on this issue and expertise from NGO practitioners. It was followed by an interagency breakout session on implementation strategies. [more]


U.S. Delegation Attended Global Summit of Women
Berlin, Germany
June 14-16, 2007

U.S. Delegation Members with Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky in Berlin, Germany at Global Summit of Women [State Department photo]Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula J. Dobriansky led a delegation to the Global Summit of Women in Berlin, Germany, June 14-16. Global respect for women is a foreign policy imperative, and the United States supports the Global Summit of Women for its emphasis on women's economic advancement. [more]


Women in Science and Technology
Santiago, Chile
May 9-12, 2007

Senior Coordinator, Andrea Bottner, conducted a presentation at the U.S.-Chile Joint Commission Meeting ,JCM, on Science and Technology regarding the prevalence of women earning science and engineerinDirector, Andrea Bottner, conducted a presentation at the U.S.-Chile Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology regarding the prevalence of women earning science and engineering fields in the United States. This was the first time this topic was addressed at a JCM and both governments agreed this is an area they would like to explore further. [more]

At the request of the International Women's Issues office, a roundtable discussion was organized by Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) and the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, which took place after the JCM. Fourteen Chilean women scientists took part in the discussion with Assistant Secretary of Oceans, Environment and Science at the U.S. State Department, Claudia McMurray; Jean Weaver from U.S. Geological Survey, and Dr. Penny Rechkemmer from the Office of International Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State; and led by CONICYT President Vivian Heyl. [more]

Violence Against Women
La Paz, Bolivia
May 6-9, 2007

Senior Coordinator Andrea Bottner traveled to La Paz, Bolivia where she led a panel discussion on violence against women, along side: Dr. Rosario Cortez, a health professional from the NGO CIES; Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) Deputy, Elizabeth Salguero; Maria Elena Escobar, the Director of the Family Protection Brigade; and Liz Escobar, a lawyer with the NGO Cidem.Director Andrea Bottner traveled to La Paz, Bolivia where she led a panel discussion on violence against women, along side: Dr. Rosario Cortez, a health professional from the NGO CIES; Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) Deputy, Elizabeth Salguero; Maria Elena Escobar, the Director of the Family Protection Brigade; and Liz Escobar, a lawyer with the NGO Cidem. There were also about 70 people in attendance. Bottner also met with Human Rights Ombudsman, Waldo Albarracin;Vice Minister of Justice, Maruja Machaca; Podemos Vice-Presidential Candidate(2005) and Bolivian Journalist, Maria Duchen; MAS Deputy Elizabeth Salguero and NGO representatives at Congress; Gregoria Apaza, a women's empowerment NGO; as well as visited the Family Protection Brigade Headquarters during her visit.

International Women's Day and the International Women of Courage Award
March 7, 2007

Secretary Rice with International Women of Courage awardeesIn honor of International Women's Day 2007, Secretary Rice established the annual Award for International Women of Courage, recognizing women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and advancement. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide, and offers a unique opportunity for transformational diplomacy in the field of international women's issues.

On March 7, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice inaugurated the Secretary's International Women of Courage Award. Ten Women from Afghanistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Iraq, The Maldives, Latvia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe received the award this year. Through this annual award the United States will honor the courage of extraordinary women worldwide who have played transformative roles in their societies. Achieving the United States' mission of advancing democracy, prosperity and security worldwide is not possible without the empowerment of women. If women cannot participate in the political process, there can be no real democracy. If women are deprived of economic opportunity, development is crippled. If women are not educated, they cannot pass knowledge to their children and there is no true security for the next generation. (List of Honorees; more photos and captions)

Women's Democracy Network
February 21-22, 2007

On February 21-22, the International Republican Institute (IRI) held its Middle East Regional Conference of the IRI Women's Democracy Network (WDN). The forum, held in Amman, Jordan, brought together approximately 30 women leaders and activists from around the Middle East and US State Department officials. It was the sixth and final regional conference of the WDN and completed the first phase of the Network's activities. The Network, established on International Women's Day in March 2006 and supported by the State Department, will now enter a new phase of global and cross-regional training programs, workshops and mentoring.

Building Public-Private Partnerships for Social and Economic Progress in Jordan
February 6-7, 2007

The CEO of the Family Justice Center Foundation with Senior Coordinator, Andrea Bottner and representatives from the King Hussein Foundation at the Women's Health Center in downtown Amman. ,Photo courDirector Andrea Bottner provided remarks for a panel on Family Violence at the conference Building Public-Private Partnerships for Social and Economic Progress in Jordan, which was held at Dead Sea, Jordan on February 6th & 7th. The conference addressed effective public-private partnerships and their necessity for sustainable development. Over 100 high-level representatives of government, business and civil society from Jordan, the region and the United States attended the conference, which was sponsored by the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and organized by Vital Voices, Dead Sea Institute, Mahara Group and South-East Consortium of International Development (SECID). Media Note: Public-Private Partnership Initiative Launching in Jordan to Expand Opportunities for Women

Women Leaders in Science, Technology and Engineering
January 8-10, 2007

Women attendees at the Women Leaders in Science, Technolo;gy and Engineering conference.Under Secretary Dobriansky and Assistant Secretary McMurray attended the Conference of Women Leaders in Science,Technology and Engineering, in Kuwait, January 8-10. The conference was held under the patronage of Kuwaiti Prime Minister H.H. Shaykh Naser Mohammad Al-Sabah, and co-hosted by the Department of State, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. (Jan.10) announcement | Under Secretary Dobriansky's remarks | fact sheet


Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM)
November 15-17, 2006

The Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), a specialized organization of the Organization of American States, held its Thirty-third Assembly of Delegates meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador from November 13-15, 2006. The United States was represented by various State Department offices. Delegates from 31 member states met to discuss the relationship between Gender, Violence and HIV/AIDS and approved three resolutions: Fighting the Crime of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women, Adolescents, and Children; Gender Mainstreaming in Hemispheric Policies and in the Summit of the Americas; and Follow-up to the Convention of Belem do Para, which deals with the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women. Member state delegates elected Dr. Jacqui C Quinn-Leandro from Antigua and Barbuda as CIM President and Dr. Martha L.Vazquez Zawadzky from Colombia as Vice-President. Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru and Uruguay were also elected to the Executive Committee.

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