Launch of Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 17, 2014

Acting Assistant Secretary Uzra Zeya for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will launch the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Emergency Response and Protection Initiative on March 20, 2014, at the Department of State.

This first of its kind, global emergency response program will provide fast, flexible, and immediate assistance to address the urgent needs of survivors of severe gender-based violence, as well as individuals under credible threat of imminent attack due to their gender. The program will also work to improve the implementation of anti-GBV laws through the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women.

At 12:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Burns will deliver remarks, followed by Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices; Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Products, Inc.; and singer Fergie, Avon Foundation for Women Global Ambassador. Remarks are scheduled to end at 1:00 p.m.

This State Department-sponsored program will be managed by a consortium of NGOs and international organizations who are experts on GBV issues in various fields and led by Vital Voices Global Partnership. The Avon Foundation for Women supports Vital Voices and is sponsoring the launch event.

Opening remarks will be open to the press via RSVP.

Media representatives must rsvp and receive confirmation to attend. They should present one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).

For further information or to RSVP, please contact Aaron Jensen at or (202) 647-0516, or visit to