Developing Countries: Females

Department for International Development written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to advance the rights of older women in developing countries.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

DFID’s Strategic Vision for Gender Equality underlines the need to focus on each stage of the lifecycle if we are to achieve our ambitions to leave no-one behind. This includes recognising the contribution of older women and considering them in efforts to empower women economically.

Better data and understanding of the situation of older women is essential for tackling the poverty and discrimination they face. DFID is investing in improving collection and use of disaggregated data (by sex, age and disability) to enable us to empower and include those who are too often invisible or face additional barriers to escaping poverty, such as older people. For example, we have led the way on the Inclusive Data Charter Action Plan and worked with others to improve the international development system on disaggregated and inclusive data.

The UK is also committed to shining a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of widows globally, including raising awareness of the discrimination and abuse often faced by older widows. At the Commission on the Status of Women in March, the UK helped secure the first ever United Nations-level recognition of the need to invest in adequate measures to protect and support widows.

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