UN Commission on the Status of Women

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th February 2012.

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Photo of Diana Johnson Diana Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 2:30 pm, 28th February 2012

What his priorities are for the 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

My hon. Friend the Minister for Equalities is currently in New York attending the commission. She will be pressing for more progress on meeting the millennium development goals, tackling violence and discrimination against women, and challenging the way women are represented by the global media.

Photo of Diana Johnson Diana Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

Given that the UN Commission on the Status of Women is focusing on the rights of women in rural areas, will the Minister say what action his Government are taking to encourage the participation of women in rural Afghanistan?

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are publishing our national action plan today, and Ministers at the Department for International Development have made it clear, in DFID’s “Strategic vision for girls and women”, that stressing the importance of empowering rural girls and women is essential for global prosperity, achieving the MDGs and ensuring safer and more stable rural communities.