Tag Archives: lynne featherstone

“Lynne Featherstone ‘horrified’ over homophobic abuse at Lib Dem councillor”

Lynne featherstone by paul walterMany Lib Dems will have read with sadness of the resignation of Sam Phripp from Somerset County Council owing to “hostility, intimidation and bullying” – including “being referred to as ‘that dirty bloody homosexual’” – from activists from other parties. Here’s what the Lib Dems’ international development minister Lynne Featherstone has had to say about it:

“I was horrified to hear of the treatment of the local Lib Dem Councillor in Somerset,” Ms Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green told PinkNews.co.uk. We’ve come such a long way in this country to achieve equal LGBT rights and I couldn’t be prouder that this government introduced equal marriage.

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The Independent View: Ending female genital mutilation and early marriage will also help tackle HIV

Youth group, SRH, BangladeshThe leadership shown by the UK government – and in particular the Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP – on ending female genital cutting or mutilation (FGC/M) in a generation has been ground breaking and inspiring. The upcoming Girl Summit is a timely opportunity, hot on the heels of the recent Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, to promote girls’ and women’s rights to live free from violence and discrimination and achieve their potential.

There’s no doubt that ending child, early and forced marriage and female …

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Lynne Featherstone on giving women “rights, voice, choice and control over their own lives”

Lynne Feahterstone visiting a Haringey primary school. Some rights reserved. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnefeatherstone/3010645357/It was International Development questions in the Commons yesterday. Lynne Featherstone was questioned about her work to end Female Genital Mutilation in a generation. She said that the subject should be a required subject on the school curriculum in areas of high prevalence. What I thought was most interesting was that in my young day, you didn’t get Tory dames asking questions about gender equality as Dame Angela Watkinson did. I liked Lynne’s choice of language in her answer. The whole …

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Baroness Lindsay Northover writes…Global recognition of need to tackle sexual violence must lead to action

Eliminating violence against women - Some rights reserved by European ParliamentIf you had told me twenty or even ten years ago that there would be Global Summit on combatting sexual violence against women, attended by the majority of the world’s countries, as well numerous individuals and organisations, I would not have believed you.

For ever, it has seemed, sexual violence against (mainly) women and girls has been seen as simply inevitable.  Especially in time of war.  “War, rape and pillage” just went together.

But just as in the 20th century, when genocide gave …

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LibLink: Lynne Feathestone: We must stop violence before it starts

Ellison Sau, Project Manager for the Men Against Violence Against Women (MAVAW) program at Live and Learn, holding a ‘Stop! Violence against women!’ signIn a blog post on the Department for International Development website, as the London summit on ending sexual violence takes place, Lynne Featherstone has been writing about what the UK Government is doing to end violence against women and girls.

She talks about the scale of the problem and the importance of identifying why it happens:

Globally nearly 1 in 10 women has experienced sexual violence by someone

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Opinion: We need discipline and compromise from both leadership and members

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLast week’s local and European elections were truly awful.

Those of us who joined the Liberal Party back in the dark days of the 1970s remember the many false dawns and disappointments that followed local and General Elections.

We built our base bite by bite from the bottom up and fighting Labour it was tooth and nail.

The loss of all our Councillors in Manchester or seeing Liverpool reduced to just three Councillors or in my own Rochdale where we have gone from 33 to …

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Lynne Featherstone on the need for clean cookstoves to transform the lives of women and girls

Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan tells Secretary Clinton more about the clean cookstoves effort in South India.Earlier this week we told you of Paddy Ashdown’s visit to Bangladesh to raise awareness of the need for clean stoves. This is also an area where Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone has been working and on Thursday, she spoke at a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves conference in London. This issue is important because the World Health Organisation estimates that 4.3 million people lost their lives through being exposed to household air …

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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.

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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
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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

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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

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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

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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

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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

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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 …

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