Africa: Maternal Mortality

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Labour, Ealing, Southall

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help end preventable maternal deaths in Africa.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Investing in adolescent girls' equality, empowerment and 12 years of quality education is critical to breaking the intergenerational cycles of poverty, and this includes tackling the social norms that prevent them from realising their full potential.

The UK has provided a significant amount of support to adolescent girls in Africa. For example, our Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme works across 24 countries in Africa to tackle the social norms that prevent girls and women from realising their sexual and reproductive health rights. Our flagship programme on child marriage has included targeted support in Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Since 2015 the programme has supported almost 8 million girls globally with schooling initiatives, skills training and girls' clubs to prevent and respond to child marriage. We will work to accelerate progress on a wider range of issues that hold girls back from accessing a quality education and achieving their potential.

The UK is co-leading the new global Generation Equality Action Coalition on gender-based violence to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action on Gender Equality. As part of this, FCDO is using evidence to help drive more concerted, coordinated global action across the international system to prevent and address violence against the most marginalised women and girls, with particular focus on adolescent girls.

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