Everyone benefits when women and girls are valued and their participation is encouraged by society.
In Congress, I have worked to guarantee that all women have affordable, quality health care, including reproductive health care, without government interference. I am a strong supporter of enforcing equal pay for equal work and a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. And I have worked with colleagues to help break the culture of silence surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, including in our military, including by passing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.
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I would like to thank my friend, Jim McGovern, for holding this hearing on child marriage. Congressman McGovern and the commission's co-chair, Congressman Frank Wolf, are both tireless champions for the rights and dignity of all people.
Of course, this commitment and determination to fight for human rights is in the tradition of Tom Lantos - a friend we all dearly miss - who I had the privilege to know and work with during my years on the International Relations Committee.
Rising health care costs and inadequate coverage burden many Americans. The current system lets insurance companies penalize a woman, just for being a woman.
It is unfair and it is wrong, plain and simple, that a woman can be charged a higher premium than a man or be denied coverage for a "pre-existing condition" such as pregnancy, having a c-section, or being a domestic violence victim.
An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
Let me give you one example.