Females: Equality

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the change in the level of Official Development Assistance on global progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 5.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, all Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending departments have identified changes to the budget.

The careful review process looked at every strand of the ODA budget, evaluating the impacts of spend and making sure we can maintain operational capacity. This has been a thorough process, but we have been able to ensure that the money we will still spend in 2020 includes prioritising poverty reduction for the 'bottom billion', and championing every girls' right to 12 years of quality education. Advancing gender equality and women's rights are critical to achieving these agendas and remains core to this government's mission.

The FCDO will build on the UK's world-leading track record on gender equality, which includes fighting successfully for SDG5, and targets on gender equality across the other goals. Since the goals began in 2015, we reached an average of 25.3 million total women and girls with modern methods of family planning per year, helping to save thousands of lives. The UK International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 also means that consideration of gender equality in all UK Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) is a legal requirement.

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