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 Wednesday and photo editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Liberal Burblings.