Tag Archives: lynne featherstone

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: More action needed on reproductive rights for all

Lynne FeatherstoneThis week, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is attending the UN Commission on Population and Development. She has written for the Huffington Post about how crucial it is to make sure that women have the choice about when to have children by having access to contraception, potentially saving 800 lives every day:

Globally there are 222million women who wish to space or delay the timing of births, but do not have access to modern forms of contraception. This has real and devastating consequences on their lives. In 2010, 800 women a day died from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth and in 2008 an estimated 8.7million young women aged 15 to 24 in developing countries resorted to unsafe abortions. All of this was preventable.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Two same sex weddings, one happy politician

Protest against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriageIt was a struggle to stay awake till midnight on Friday night because I’d been up at stupid o’clock to travel to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference. But I did, just to mark that very special moment when same sex marriages started to happen. In the morning, the scenes of happiness on the television news had me blubbing.

Both Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone talked over the weekend about how this isn’t just an important thing for the couples themselves. In his speech to Scottish …

photo by: Fibonacci Blue
Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | Leave a comment

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Last night we saw the nasty side of Nigel Farage

Lynne featherstone by paul walterLynne Featherstone has written an article for the Liberal Democrats’ website in which she slams Nigel Farage’s comments on same sex marriage  and Crimea in the debate last night.

I agree with Vlad

Nigel Farage loathes the EU so much that he is prepared to side with Vladimir Putin against the people of Ukraine and the democracies of the western world.

His statement, that the EU has “blood on its hands”, was an insult to those pro-democracy demonstrators who bravely took to the streets of Kiev to fight for their

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: A long road ahead to stop gender based violence, but we are on the right track

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for local paper in her constituency about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the works she’s doing in Government aimed at dealing with the global problem of violence against women and girls:

Over the last year, I have spearheaded a new multi-million pound programme to tackle one of the most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence – female genital mutilation (FGM). And because of this solid foundation of work and momentum, this July the prime minister will host a major summit to tackle FGM as well as early …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Liberals need to stand up against hate speech and prejudice. If we don’t, we condone it.

Over the last couple of weeks, several events have proved, as if we needed it to be proved, that hate speech and prejudice is alive and well in 21st century Britain.

Last week, Pink News reported  a disturbing, angry and hate-filled transphobic rant by Julie Burchill which appeared as a comment on an article by Paris Lees. Paris had written of her delight in being catcalled and wolf-whistled while on holiday in Ibiza and asked if that made her a bad feminist. Burchill’s reply seemed to be trying to make out that she was a bad human being.

I don’t …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

Just when you thought it was safe to like Stonewall…

mark and ros at equal marriage vigilThe relationship between Stonewall and the Liberal Democrats would be described, in Facebook terms, as “it’s complicated.” We might share many of the same goals, but it can all get a bit spiky between us from time to time.

The Observer reports that their former chief executive Ben Summerskill has attacked the Liberal Democrats for being opportunistic over equal marriage, not passing our policy before 2010. In fact, there was huge support within the party for equal marriage and earlier in 2010, the Scottish Party had passed its policy in support. The equal marriage campaign only really started in earnest a couple of years before that and Stonewall itself took a long time to support the measure.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women

New york police  Some rights reserved by Amiga-Commodore Development Minister Lynne Featherstone spent two days in New York earlier this week at the United Nation’s annual Commission on the Status of Women. She posted a series of blogs from the Big Apple. Here are some highlights.

Day One:

I’ll be attending a whole load of events as well as talking to my counterparts from around the world to ensure the CSW negotiations lead to a

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

David Cameron to host summit on FGM and forced marriage

A good story from today’s Times (£) for International Women’s Day:

David Cameron will play host to Britain’s first Girls’ Summit this summer to galvanise efforts to end female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The Prime Minister will convene the meeting in July, which will focus on tackling the abuse and oppression of women that is embedded in certain cultures, at home and abroad.

At the top of the agenda will be FGM, which threatens tens of thousands of girls and women in the UK, and forced marriage, whereby many British teenagers disappear from the school roll and, in extreme cases, end

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Nick Clegg announces 2015 negotiating team

Nick Clegg has announced the team who will handle coalition negotiations after the election in 2015 (if needed, of course).  It will consist of Danny Alexander, Steve Webb, Sal Brinton, Lynne Featherstone and David Laws.

In his book ‘22 days in May‘ David Laws revealed that Nick Clegg had appointed the 2010 negotiating team in secret during the previous year. The team was not put together in haste after the election, as many had assumed, so there were really no excuses for the absence of women. Politically David Laws and Danny Alexander were drawn from the economic liberal wing of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 42 Comments

Lynne Featherstone MP writes…A great leap backwards for gay rights

Uganda’s new anti-homosexuality legislation is abhorrent. It imposes draconian penalties for repeat offences of homosexuality, so-called ‘aggravated’ homosexuality, same-sex marriage, attempting to commit homosexuality and for the loosely defined ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. This is nothing short of a great leap backward – not just for Uganda but for gay rights across Africa. I believe it marks a growing state-backed homophobic trend across the continent, one we cannot and should not ignore.

From Day 1 in my role as Africa minister at the Department for International Development (DFID), strengthening the department’s LGBT rights strategy has been one of my top priorities. I …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: In praise of civil servants

Lynne Featherstone, writing on her own blog, has given us a very interesting insight into the mechanics of Government and is full of praise and appreciation for the people who have brought about her two key acts as a minister, equal marriage, and the fight against the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation.

She described receiving invaluable tips from Michael Heseltine and Andrew Adonis when she first became a Minister. It’s interesting that just a short time after Adonis left office himself, he was providing sensible advice for the newbies. Politics is a lot more civilised behind the scenes than you …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: the politics of the reshuffle

Lynne featherstone by paul walterNorman BakerThere has been a consistent thread running through Nick Clegg’s most recent government reshuffles: get good campaigners into posts where they can run successful high profile campaigns, implementing liberal policies and winning Liberal Democrat votes.

Put like that, it sounds uncontroversial, but when it has involved the departure of Jeremy Browne from government and swapping out from posts in the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence, it has been rather more controversial.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone – end FGM within a generation

Yesterday was Time to Talk Day (#timetotalk), which generated some intensely personal accounts of living with mental illness. It was also the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It was an unfortunate clash, but the Lib Dem Voice team decided to focus on #timetotalk yesterday and to cover the FGM campaign before and after the event.

On Monday we reported that Lynne Featherstone was leading a mass awareness raising campaign for yesterday’s International Day.  In support, the Liberal Democrat MEPs had written an open letter calling on the EU to help end FGM within  a generation.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Liberal Democrat MEPs take fight against FGM to European Commission

Liberal Democrat MEPs have written an open letter to EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Development Commissioner Piebalgs calling on the EU to step up the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

They said:

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an appalling form of child abuse and violence against women which continues to blight the lives of millions around the world. We would like to commend the Commission and EEAS for their much-needed action to date on preventing  FGM, including successful EU-UNICEF programmes in Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sudan and India.  But we believe more could be done. Through more funding for awareness-raising and grass-roots activity as well as more effective data collection on victims of FGM and greater coordination with national governments, the EU could play an even greater role in protecting young girls and women around the world.

The United Kingdom is playing a major role in the global fight to eradicate FGM under the leadership of International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone MP. In March 2013 Ms Featherstone announced a £35 million programme that will support local projects in Africa, research into the most cost-effective approaches to end FGM and work with diaspora communities to bring about change in their countries of origin as well as in the UK. With the support of the EU and its member states, we can continue to shape cultural attitudes across Europe and worldwide and end this horrific practice.

Given the progress achieved on FGM, making the world truly safe for women and girls is an achievable possibility. We call on you to make this goal a central part of the EU’s external relations. By taking the lead on this issue, the EU can help to end FGM within a generation.

Lynne Featherstone, who is tomorrow doing a mass awareness raising campaign on the subject said:

I’m glad that MEPs are taking the fight against FGM to Brussels.

We owe it to the millions of girls who are at risk of being cut every year to build on recent progress and keep up the pressure for change.

Working with international organisations like the EU will help us to build on our work in government and fulfil our ambition of ending this horrific practice within a generation.

If you want to sign up to help Lynne Featherstone’s inititative tomorrow, which we told you about on Monday, you can do so here before 11 am tomorrow.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Can you help Lynne Featherstone’s campaign to end FGM in a generation?

This Thursday, 6th February, at 11am, Lynne Featherstone’s campaign to end FGM in a generation is hoping to raise awareness of the issue across social media. By means of a clever thing called Thunderclap, you can set up a tweet or Facebook post in advance. When they all go out at the same time they’ll reach millions of people.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Two developments in Lynne Featherstone’s fight to stop Female Genital Mutilation

Last week, there were two important developments in the fight to stop the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation. This is a key priority for Lynne Featherstone as international development minister.

First of all, the Sunday Times (£) reported that teachers are to be given training to help them identify girls who may be at risk of being subjected to FGM. Teachers will be requested to report any mention, for example, of ceremonies to become a woman. I was quite surprised that only one school in the country has a policy on preventing FGM and that so many teachers had no …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Martin Horwood MP writes…Putting people with disabilities into the international development picture

One year after her appointment as the first ever Liberal Democrat minister at the Department for International Development (DfID), Lynne Featherstone has already earned a reputation for picking up difficult subjects and setting ambitious goals. In her first year, she put the issue of female genital mutilation on the national and international agenda and famously declared that she wanted to see it gone within a generation and then started to take the practical steps to make that happen.

Now Lynne has taken up another challenge for some of the world’s most vulnerable people: to champion the inclusion of people with disabilities. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Liblink: Lynne Featherstone on breaking the link between violence against women and HIV

The UK is supporting HIV intervention in Malawi and others must help to break this tragic cycle, say Lynne Featherstone and Annie Lennox in the Guardian.

Tears may dry in seconds. Bruises may disappear in days – and scars might eventually fade. But of all the devastating consequences of violence against women and girls, there is one lasting impact that cannot be hidden underneath clothing or concealed behind a forced smile. In sub-Saharan Africa, every minute of every day a woman becomes infected with HIV, adding to the tragic and persistent spread of the HIV/Aids epidemic.

The brutal fact is that …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Has Stonewall snubbed the Liberal Democrats in their awards?

Every time I think kindly about Stonewall, they do something to annoy me. Way back in 2010, their opposition to equal marriage reached the fringes of our Liverpool Conference. That came just a few months after Ed Fordham wrote on here that he was no longer able to support Stonewall over its treatment of David Laws.

Happily, Stonewall did eventually come around to supporting equal marriage and attended the vigils outside Parliament which Ed organised when the Bill was being debated. They are also just about to start a brilliant campaign on homophobic bullying to run in anti-bullying …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Lynne Featherstone visits Uganda to highlight disability and development

Lynne featherstone by paul walterLast month, Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone wrote about her visit to the UN General Assembly where the focus was on putting the needs of people with disabilities at the heart of the overseas aid agenda:

More than one billion people worldwide live with disability and suffer huge discrimination as a result. They face unequal access to education, employment, healthcare, social support and the justice system. Consequently, they are disproportionately some of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world – part of an unseen great neglect.

To follow that up, Lynne is now in Uganda with British paralympian Ade Adepitan to highlight the challenges disabled people face on a daily basis and what the international aid community needs to do to help them. There are two ways in which you can follow her progress while she’s out there.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

On Global Handwashing Day, Featherstone launches scheme to give 4 million access to clean water in Democratic Republic of Congo

Lynne FeatherstoneIt’s easy to take our access to clean, safe water for granted. Whether it’s water to brush our teeth, drink or wash our hands after we’ve been to the toilet, free availability saves lives.

If you live in sub-Saharan Africa, on average, only 60% of people, not much over half, have access to safe water supplies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo the average is 46%, but in rural areas can be as little as 20%. It’s hardly surprising they’ve recently had a major Cholera epidemic to deal with. This

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

LibLink… Lynne Featherstone: UK will help tackle the Great Neglect of disability

Lynne Featherstone, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has written for the Huffington Post about what the UK is doing to help those with disabilities in developing countries.

First she outlined why this is necessary:

More than one billion people worldwide live with disability and suffer huge discrimination as a result. They face unequal access to education, employment, healthcare, social support and the justice system. Consequently, they are disproportionately some of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world – part of an unseen great neglect.

The internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have done a great deal to address

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Liberal Democrat Voice Awards: The Shortlists (1): The Tim Garden Award

The Liberal Democrat Voice Awards are only a week away. At 10 pm on Saturday 14 September, in Castle 2 of the Crowne Plaza, with cash bar on hand, and an imaginative dress code, the best in blogging, campaigning, social media and politics in general will be feted in a ceremony filled with razzmatazz, glitz and glamour.

In years past, all the shortlists have been released at once. That’s because the Divine Ms Duffett is kind to you. I on the other hand, am happy to mess with your heads a bit more. So, in the style of the announcement of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

The Royal Baby: the Liberal Democrat Voice non-rolling coverage

We at the Voice obviously wish the Duchess of Cambridge, and anyone else giving birth today, all the very best. However, you will be relieved to know that we won’t be dispatching any members of our team to West London to hang around outside St Mary’s Hospital and write copious amounts of rather hilarious speculation about what might be going on inside. We recognise that we might be missing a trick, and that, actually, people do want to hear men speculate about what Kate might be feeling, but we reckon we’re on pretty safe ground with our readers.

Two things that …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

LibLink…Lynne Featherstone: Hope and HIV in Malawi

Lynne Featherstone has been writing at the Huffington Post about her visit to Malawi. She talked about sitting with a father just after he found out he had HIV. She explores in the article how that man and others can be helped by intitiatives she is responsible for:

There was little hope in the eyes of the father I sat with shortly after he learnt he was living with HIV. Cradling his son in his arms, together they faced the agonising wait for the boy’s test results.

While 68,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses here every year, HIV/AIDS no longer needs to

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

What has my marriage got to do with the Liberal Democrats?

More than you would think, I guess. My long-suffering husband at least went into our union with his eyes open. If there wasn’t actually a large bird of liberty in the room at the registry office, he knew that the party would play a large part in our lives together. And even then, I think it’s played an even bigger part than he anticipated and he’s dealt with it with patience, fortitude and humour. Most of the time, anyway.

Why is this even relevant? Well, it’s a Summer of 25th anniversaries. Next month, we will have been married for 25 years. Yesterday, it was 25 years since Paddy Ashdown was elected as leader and this video was released by the Party to celebrate.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 5 Comments

Lynne Featherstone re-selected in Hornsey and Wood Green

Not that there was ever any doubt, but the process has been done and Lynne Featherstone has been reselected to stand for Hornsey and Wood Green at the 2015. She said on her website that she was delighted at the decision:

I am simply delighted by the confidence the local Liberal Democrat members have shown in me. It was a fantastic evening, and I’d like to thank the members, the local party, and fellow Lib Dem MP Ed Davey for making such a great speech.

It was also so special to have my political heroine, Baroness Shirley Williams, in attendance supporting

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Would-be Labour candidate attacks Unite’s “autocratic monopoly” and role in Lewisham and Haringey selections

Last night a would-be Labour Parliamentary candidate, who contested the Hornsey & Wood Green selection, hit out on Twitter at the “autocratic monopoly” produced by Unite’s influence on selections. Mandy Richards singled out selections in Hornsey & Wood Green and Lewisham, arguing that they have not been getting the media attention they deserve and that Unite’s influence is blocking a “progressive Labour agenda”.

Twitter - Mandy4PPC_2015- complaint about Unite

Twitter - Mandy4PPC_2015- Unite autrocratic monopoly

In Hornsey & Wood Green the selection was won by …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone on successes in campaign against FGM

Lynne featherstone by paul walterOver on Huffington Post, Lynne Featherstone has written an article about the heartening early successes in the campaign against female genital mutilation. She writes:

“I wanted to save lives not put them at risk.”

That’s what a former female genital cutter told me during a visit to Kenya last week, as she explained why she downed her tools and instead became a birth attendant.

I believe this woman should be celebrated for taking such a brave stance against the centuries-old tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Lynne: Police should target “cutters” who perform genital mutilation on girls in Britain, not their parents

Lynne Featherstone in Zambia. Photo:  some rights reserved by DFID http://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/8220719712/The London Evening Standard reports:

Police should target “cutters” who perform genital mutilation on girls in Britain, rather than the parents who pay for it, International Development minister Lynne Featherstone says.

The minister, who this week visited Kenya to see how female genital mutilation is being stamped out there, said Britain needs to speed up the first prosecution here to send a warning that the practice will not be tolerated. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but nobody has

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarHelen Tedcastle 21st Apr - 9:54am
    daft ha 'p' orth " All that said, it disappoints me that RE syllabi may be entirely ‘locally determined’ (why??)." The original idea (in 1988)...
  • User AvatarRC 21st Apr - 8:36am
    We could follow this with a Mili-bland flavoured ice-cream, which changes flavour every week according to its audience and melts down on the first contact...
  • User AvatarRC 21st Apr - 8:28am
    @Steve Comer "but we’re unhappy with the Lib Dems nationally" That's because they've absorbed all the constant misinformation and distortion they've seen in the media...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 21st Apr - 7:21am
    Roland Your throw away complacency about "a few nuclear reactors" is staggering. In terms of this discussion you might want to read this from the...
  • User AvatarManfarang 21st Apr - 5:01am
    daft. Anthropology? E.E. Evans Pritchard. Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azade.
  • User AvatarManfarang 21st Apr - 4:45am
    Paul Red-Eggs at the Co-op, nest eggs at the Co-op bank. Maybe not.