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Marking International Women’s Day

Friday, March 8 2013

International Women's Day 2013

To mark International Women’s Day the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller, is leading a co-ordinated campaign across Government.

This campaign stresses the problem of sexual violence, both in the UK and abroad, and the action the Government is taking to tackle it.

 Action includes:


  • The Secretary of State for International Development has announced new initiatives to support vulnerable women around the world.
  • The Foreign Secretary has spoken out against sexual violence in conflict, and the FCO have a series of events to highlight this campaign.
  • The Home Secretary is publishing an Action Plan to tackle violence against women and girls for 2013.

Conservatives in Government are clear that sexual violence and victimisation of women will not be tolerated. To confront it, they are taking tough action both at home and overseas.

What we have done to support women in the UK:

  • 13 new rape crisis centres have been established under this government offering invaluable support and advice to women in areas that previously did not have access to it
  • Forced marriage has been made a criminal offence
  • The definition of domestic violence has been extended to include both verbal and physical violence
  • £40 million has been invested in specialist domestic and sexual violence services
  • Two new criminal offences will be introduced for stalking

How we are supporting women abroad:

The Foreign Office is running its Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, designed to push for greater international action and help countries improve their efforts to tackle these crimes and support survivors. There is now a team of experts working on evidence-gathering, investigations, prosecutions and the proper care of victims and witnesses in conflict situations.

In 2011, the Department for International Development published a strategic vision for how the UK’s international aid could best be used to have a transformative impact on the lives of women and girls around the world. In 2011/12, the support has: 

  • Provided at least 740,000 women with access to financial services
  • Improved the rights to land and property for at least 210,000 women
  • Supported over 2.5million girls to attend primary school and 260,000 to attend lower secondary school
  • Ensured that 500,000 births were delivered with the help of nurses, midwives and doctors
  • Supported 1 million additional women to use modern methods of family planning
  • Delivered a historic global breakthrough giving access to family planning for 120 million women at the recent London Summit on Family Planning

International Women’s Day will be followed by a week in which the Conservatives will focus on policies to support women in the workplace.

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