I was lucky enough to attend the launch, chaired by Hadeel Ibrahim from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and listened to fascinating contributions from Charlotte Watts, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Christine Butegwa, Akina Mama Wa Afrika and the author of the report, Zohra Moosa from ActionAid UK.
ActionAid argues that unless violence against women is significantly reduced, the UN Millennium Development Goals won’t be met.
Zohra Moosa, the report’s author, said: “Violence against women is an appalling but depressingly common abuse of women’s rights. We can’t afford to ignore its impact on individuals and upon whole societies.”
One of the key recommendations in the report is that the UK Government put violence against women at the heart of its foreign policy by appointing a minister specifically on this issue. There was in fact some exciting news on this subject very recently as the Prime Minister announced that he was appointing Baroness Kinnock to take on a new role, leading on the Government’s work in this area and making sure that UK efforts are coordinated across the Department for International Development, the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence.
ActionAid’s report shows that violence against women is a barrier that hinders progress being made on eradicating poverty. Important steps have been taken internationally to recognise the extent of the problem, but what is needed now is urgent action.
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