Thank you for contacting me about violence against women and girls. This is an issue in which I have taken particular interest. As Deputy Mayor for Policing in London I proposed, devised and implemented the first ever Violence Against Women and Girls strategy in a major world city.
So I am proud that the UK has played a leading role in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) world-wide, and I know it will continue to be a top priority for the Department for International Development (DFID).
Since 2012, there has been a 63 per cent increase in DFID programmes to address VAWG to 109 programmes in total, 19 of which focus entirely on VAWG. DFID’s £35 million programme to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – the largest of any single country – is helping to reduce the practice by 30 per cent in 17 countries across Africa. The UK’s £36 million programme to end Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) also helps thousands of girls escape losing any choice or control over their future.
To prevent VAWG we need to examine the deep-seated attitudes and social norms that allow this violence to exist. I know how important working with women’s organisations on this and on other deep-rooted causes of VAWG is. Following the Girl Summit last year, the International Development Secretary announced funding to support AmplifyChange, an initiative that supports civil society activists in their work to end CEFM and FGM and to address a broader gender issues.
The UK will continue to champion the standalone gender goal and the target on VAWG, FGM and CEFM is included in the outcome document of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals. Ministers will continue to push for a strong and explicit commitment in the post-2015 framework that will be agreed later this year.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me