LibLink: Lynne Featherstone on eliminating violence against women and girls

On the occasion of her first visit to Zambia and the UN Day for eliminating violence against women, Lynne Featherstone writes on Huffington Post:

Physical and sexual abuse of women is a global scourge, that transcends borders. From the UK, where one in four women will be the victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime to Zambia, where 47% of women have suffered gender-based violence. Much has been done to improve the plight of women but, in Zambia as elsewhere, cultural norms are often still a barrier to change.

As the UK government’s ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas, I feel a great sense of responsibility. Changing mindsets and preventing violence before it starts is crucial. And there is evidence of progress. In Zambia, the government has created a new Ministry of Gender this year. A new Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme will provide mentoring and ‘safe spaces’ to 10,000 vulnerable girls. Such developments are hugely welcome and we must grasp this chance to garner more global support.

You can read the full article here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is Photo Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/31792 for Twitter and emails.

5 Comments

  • Richard Dean 26th Nov '12 - 4:24pm

    This looks like a mistake. The UK government simply shouldn’t have a “ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas”. That’s not a **UK GOVERNMENT** job.

    While we certainly should be strong action to prevent violence everywhere, we’re not colonial rulers any more. So this is a job for an international body, not for the UK government. Indeed, UK government action could well just help entrench these very bad problems.

    People in other countries have their own cultures, history, social arrangements, opinion leaders, etc, and we need to respect that. Change won’t come by us forcing the issue, but by them freely deciding to change. Bullying people to change won’t work, providing help when asked might.

  • Simon Bamonte 26th Nov '12 - 6:08pm

    @Richard Dean: “People in other countries have their own cultures, history, social arrangements, opinion leaders, etc, and we need to respect that.”

    No, we often don’t need to respect that. In Saudi Arabia, ethnic minorities are essentially treated like slaves, and their human rights are denied on a daily basis. In Afghanistan, the Taliban we are fighting against happily stone women to death who dare to venture out without a Burqa. In certain African nations, people with severe mental illnesses and albinos are seen as “evil spirits” are are often persecuted or killed. In China, the most disgusting abuses of animal rights take place every day. In Uganda there is a new law which will place homosexuals in jail for life. Hell, we now have councils in the UK who have taken a light stance of female genital modification because “it is their culture”.

    I see nothing about those practices which you describe as “their culture” which are worthy of my or any Liberal’s respect. I agree with you that we are no longer colonial rulers and that it is not our government’s job, but that of NGOs to change. Our culture is, of course, not perfect. But I refuse to respect any “culture” that treats certain classes of humans as unworthy of life or equal protection under the law simply for who or what they are.

  • Richard Dean 26th Nov '12 - 6:34pm

    Simon. Then you are doomed to failure. You cannot change a culture by refusing to understand it.

  • Simon Bamonte 26th Nov '12 - 6:45pm

    Understanding a culture is different from respecting them, @Richard. I understand why the Taliban want to kill women who don’t cover up: they think it’s a fundamental part of their religion. They think their “god” wants women who show their face and hair in public to be killed. I do understand this, but I’ll be dammed if I will ever *respect* a culture that treats 50% of their population as sub-human.

  • Richard Dean 26th Nov '12 - 9:56pm

    I doubt very much if that is what motivates the Taliban.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarT-J 28th Jul - 9:23pm
    Richard Dean, whatever the modern attitudes of those societies, it is a point of historical fact that for the Commonwealth countries in question here, prior...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 28th Jul - 9:20pm
    Yes! I'm in the M-place!
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Jul - 8:57pm
    Sounds very good, very well thought out, but wouldn't it have more weight and impact if it came from the PM rather than the DPM,...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Jul - 8:45pm
    I see that colonialism is alive and well, and is being continued and propagated in the idea that the attitudes of peoples in the commonwealth...
  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 28th Jul - 8:17pm
    First, a big thank you to Nick Clegg for his continued support of LGBTs and his statement on what the Commonwealth should consider its culture...
  • User AvatarStuart 28th Jul - 8:02pm
    @Keith Legg "Stuart, a paper sent to committee members covering a number of topics and published without fanfare on the internet does not in my...