LibLink: Lynne Featherstone – Gender equality and empowerment are crucial in the fight against world poverty

Make_Poverty_HistoryLynne Featherstone, the International Development Minister, has written an article for The Herald, reflecting on progress since the G8 in Gleneagles in 2005.

She writes:

In 2005, Scotland hosted the G8 in Gleneagles where world leaders made the historic pledge to “Make poverty history”.

Eight years on, the UK is again hosting leaders, this time in Northern Ireland, so it seems appropriate to reflect on how far we’ve come in reaching that goal.

I am particularly proud that we have helped 5.3 million children have a primary school education and will have improved access to security and justice services for 10 million women and girls by 2015.

She added:

This weekend, the UK launched a global push to tackle world hunger, recognising that there are still countries where children do not get enough of the right kinds of food to eat, particularly within the first 1000 days of life. How can countries end poverty if malnutrition blights their people? An estimated 11% of GDP is lost to undernutrition in many African and Asian countries. A weakened workforce cannot work at full strength, meaning the loss of billions of dollars in productivity, and limiting not only the potential of individuals but of the country’s economic prospects.

She also writes about her campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation.

One of my responsibilities is as Ministerial Champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas. This is a cause I am personally and passionately engaged in day-to-day and am responsible for raising up the international agenda.

Earlier this year, I announced a new DFID programme of up to £35m to help eradicate female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) – the largest ever donor commitment to tackling this practice. This is one of the worst kinds of gender violence – mostly perpetrated against children, and often inflicting a lifetime of damage. For too long, the international community has stayed silent on this subject, finding it too sensitive to tackle. Supporting this movement is one of my main priorities.

You can read the rest of the article here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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This entry was posted in LibLink.


  • We could not ask for a better person to be this Governments International Development Minister. Again an example of what we, as Liberal Democrats, have contributed to the coalition, we should be shouting these initiatives from the roof tops.

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