Friday, March 08, 2013

Lynne Featherstone's message for International Women's Day #IWD

 DFID Minister Lynne Featherstone has been in New York this week at the UN working with other countries to tackle violence against women. There's a nifty map which shows exactly where our money is helping women across the world.

This was her message to Scotland - remember DFID head office is here, in East Kilbride - for International Women's Day.
Scottish society has a strong history of supporting International Women's Day by celebrating the achievements of women and girls against the barriers of discrimination and inequality as well as showing solidarity with those who continue to face various forms of oppression.
There are women and girls around the world who are shot at simply for campaigning for girls education; raped while collecting water in a refugee camp; or attacked by their partner after his team lost the match.
I've long been a campaigner for gender equality at home, and as the UK Government's champion for tackling violence against women overseas, it infuriates me that across the world one in three women is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. Whilst reading this you will probably think of a friend or family member, a colleague or client who is a victim.
Enough is enough and we must stand up and work together to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The Coalition Government will be stepping up our efforts to tackle gender-based violence. We want to galvanise a global movement, which is why it will be a priority during our Presidency of the G8 throughout 2013. In particular, we are looking to secure new commitments from some of the world's most powerful nations to tackle sexual violence in conflict.
Earlier this week I represented the UK at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and lobbied other governments to agree a common set of global standards to protect women and girls from discrimination and violence. When CSW ends next week, I hope my efforts will not have been in vain.
The UK's Department for International Development, with a head office in East Kilbride, is working in 21 countries to directly address violence against women. We have launched a new fund for research that will collect evidence of violence against women and girls from ten countries in Africa and Asia to help understand the causes of violence and shape new methods of prevention. In our Afghanistan country plan we have put a greater emphasis on initiatives to tackle violence against women and girls and ensure that the progressive gains for women and girls are not lost but built on.
On Tuesday I announced a new £35 million DFID programme to support an African-led movement to end Female Genital Mutilation. Like foot-binding in China, I believe we can end this harmful practice within a generation.

These are just some of the initiatives the UK Government is leading on, but there is always more we can do.

These are just some of the initiatives the UK Government is leading on, but there is always more we can do.

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