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Parliamentarians at risk around the world - Events for US Congress

US Capitol

United States Capitol in Washington, © Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency

Parliamentarians at risk around the world/ Violence against women politicians - US Congress Events on Thursday 19 September 

The IPU will be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday 19 September for two events open to Members of the US Congress, congressional staff, the media and interested public. 

1.    The League of Women Voters and the IPU are organizing a panel on violence against women to discuss how it impacts democracies, recommend preventive action and share best practices from around the world.

8:30 -10:00 am Room 2043 Rayburn House Office Building 

According to a 2016 IPU global survey of women parliamentarians, 82 per cent of respondents had experienced psychological violence. Among them, some 44 per cent had received threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction during their parliamentary terms, including threats to kidnap or kill their children. These findings were confirmed in a Europe-wide study carried out by the IPU and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 2018.

Moderated by Ms Ginger Gibson, Political Correspondent, Reuters, and sponsored by Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) and Dan Kildee (D-MI), the panel includes IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barrón and Icelandic MP Sunna Ævarsdottir.  Ms Ævarsdottir has successfully mobilized her parliament to take immediate action to stamp out sexism and violence.  

Several Members of Congress will speak including Rep. Lesko.  The League of Women Voters will be represented by its President, Ms Chris Carson, and CEO Ms Virginia Kase. 

To register, please contact [email protected]

2.    The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) and the House Democracy Partnership are organizing a briefing on parliamentarians at risk around the world.

10:30 – 11:30 am   H-313 Capitol Building

In the face of growing authoritarianism across the globe, parliamentarians who carry out their oversight duties and raise their voices on behalf of their constituents are suffering reprisals. In 2018, the IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians processed 564 cases of requests for redress for members of parliament who had been intimidated, attacked, jailed or killed – the highest caseload in the IPU committee's 40-year history. 

Panelists will describe their first-hand experiences as parliamentarians at risk and share their recommendations for responding to a growing threat that targets parliament as the heart of democratic political systems.  

Moderated by Ms Mary Milliken, Foreign Policy Editor, Reuters, the panel will include representatives of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, Mr. Hisyar Ozsoy, member, Grand National Assembly, Turkey, Mr. Vicente de Lima, brother of detained Filipino Senator Leila De Lima and Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barrón, IPU President and member, Congress of the Union, Mexico.

To register, please contact Kimberly Stanton at 202-225-3599 (for TLHRC Co-Chair McGovern) or Piero Tozzi at 202-25-3765 (for TLHRC Co-Chair Smith).   

For more information about the IPU, contact 

Patricia A. Torsney, Permanent Observer of the IPU to the United Nations (New York office) at [email protected] or tel: +1 212 557 5880 

Thomas Fitzsimons, IPU Communications Director (Geneva office) at email: [email protected] or [email protected] or tel: +41(0) 79 854 31 53