Integrated Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Review: Females

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 20th October 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 steps he will take to ensure that his Department continues to prioritise the prevention of violence, exploitation and abuse of girls after the conclusion of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

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

The UK is a global leader in efforts to eliminate violence, exploitation and abuse of girls in all its forms and remains unwavering in our defence of women's and girls' right to live free from violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the need for urgent, scaled-up action on gender-based violence (GBV). Ending child marriage will remain a key focus, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister's commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls. FCDO's world-leading £50 million UK aid package to tackle FGM across the most-affected countries in Africa is the biggest single donor investment worldwide to date, and will run until 2025.

In September 2020, FCDO launched the tender for our new £67.5 million programme to scale up effective interventions to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) across development and humanitarian contexts, and to continue expanding the evidence base as a global public good. This is the largest investment by any donor government in programming and research to prevent VAWG globally. The UK has also taken up leadership of the new Global Action Coalition on GBV. We will take an evidence-based approach that prioritises the most marginalised and excluded women and girls, with a particular focus on adolescent girls. Safeguarding against sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector also remains a priority. Last month the Government published a safeguarding strategy covering all UK aid spend which builds on commitments made at the 2018 London Safeguarding Summit.

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