Developing Countries: Females

International Development written question – answered on 5th September 2011.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Labour, Wirral South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the contribution of the CDC business plan to addressing gender disparities in developing countries; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) recognises the importance of addressing gender disparity in terms of employment, training and opportunities for women in the developing world.

Under its new high-level business plan, CDC capital will be focused on the poorest countries and parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where it will help support and create better and more equal opportunities for women through, for example, the provision of microfinance, where 70% of borrowers are typically women.

CDC provides its fund managers with comprehensive guidance on environmental, social and governance issues. The guidance provides specific detail to managers on how to improve investee company performance on gender, including advice on pay, maternity and paternity leave, health matters, harassment and safety of women employees and appointing women to company boards.

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