Development Aid

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 30th May 2022.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support elected women in parliaments overseas.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what bilateral programmes her Department has in place to support elected women in parliaments overseas.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to work with multilateral institutions to support elected women in parliaments overseas.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps Her Majesty's Ambassadors are taking to support elected women parliamentarians in the countries where they are posted.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Foreign Secretary has put women and girls at the centre of the UK's foreign policy. The FCDO's International Development Strategy commits us to using development and diplomatic levers to unlock the social, economic and political agency of women and girls and work to ensure women's voices are heard at all social, political and economic levels. The Westminster Foundation for Democracy are a key partner to help us deliver our objectives on women's political empowerment, including support for women in parliament, and the Foreign Secretary has agreed to increase their grant-in-aid from £5.1 million to £6.5 million per year over the next three years. The UK has joined the Global Partnership for Action on Gender Based Online Harassment Abuse, whose work will include addressing violence directed towards women in their public lives as journalists, politicians, or activists.

In 2021-22 there were 24 bilateral development programmes working both to strengthen political institutions and also having a gender focus. The UK also supports women parliamentarians through core funding to multilaterals: in 2021, the UN Development Programme assisted 30 electoral authorities to establish inclusive electoral processes and UN Women contributed to 3 laws on gender balance in elections and decision-making bodies. In addition to our development work, our embassies across the world promote women's and girls' political leadership through schemes such as 'Ambassador for a day' or the #EmbasShe initiative in the Netherlands.

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