The RCOG welcomes the UK Government’s assurances to ending violence against women and the multi-agency approach it has put in place to achieve this.
DFID have announced a range of aid programmes to help empower women including funding to improve contraception access and options to prevent unwanted pregnancy and maternal death. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has announced its intention and plans to address sexual violence in conflict zones during the UK’s Presidency of the G8 in 2013 and the Home Office has reiterated its commitment to end all forms of violence against women.
Most significantly, the Government has announced that £35m have been set aside for programmes to help reduce female genital mutilation (FGM) by 30% in 10 priority countries over the next five years.
Professor James Walker, RCOG Senior Vice President (Global Health) said, “We are greatly encouraged by the Government’s views on the urgent need to end violence against women. Legislative reform on forced marriages will help protect victims as will the promised funding for specialist services in domestic and sexual violence.
“This is a fitting way to mark International Women’s Day this year. We need to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, however, there is still a wide disparity between those who have a say and those who still do not. Alongside empowering women through education and employment opportunities, there is also the need to ensure that we have the infrastructure to support women suffering from acts of physical and psychological harm.”