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Women and girls lie at the heart of DFID's Operational Plan for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We are empowering women to play a stronger role in decisions affecting their lives. Our Community Recovery programme, for example, has increased the elected representation of women on village decision-making committees from almost zero to 27%. We are also supporting efforts to ensure that women play a full and influential part in upcoming national elections.
We are also seeking real results for women and girls in our support to education, where we plan to get 225,000 more girls into primary school and reduce dropout rates from 8% to 5%. We are also making maternal and reproductive health services available to hundreds of thousands of women, including meeting the contraceptive needs of some 235,000 women and girls and reducing the risks of childbirth by ensuring that more than 100,000 births a year are attended by skilled health personnel. At least 8.5 million women and children will be protected from malaria over the next few years as a result of our funding of a mass distribution programme for insecticide-treated bed nets.