Speaking on International Women’s Day, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Baroness Warsi, said:
I am delighted to share in today’s celebrations of International Women’s Day. This year’s international theme is the Prevention of Sexual Violence against Women, but we should not forget that in many parts of the world, women are still campaigning for the rights and opportunities that we in this country take for granted: the right to work, to vote, to hold public office and to have full access to education and opportunity.
This is why we will continue to support innovative new projects in the poorest countries and work with international organisations and governments overseas to promote women’s right’s - for example facilitating access to support services for victims of gender violence in Rio de Janeiro, or empowering and training women leaders to participate and run in the this year’s elections in the Philippines.
As one of five daughters of Pakistani immigrants, I am deeply committed to increasing the power of girls and women to control the decisions that affect them. I am particularly proud of the UK support to civil society groups in Pakistan in their efforts to increase female turnout in the upcoming elections. The UK’s commitment to women’s rights and equality will not waiver. We will continue to promote these values around the world until every woman and girl enjoys an equal and empowered future.
Baroness Warsi will be speaking at an event at the Embassy of Afghanistan in London to mark International Women’s Day.
The FCO’s network of missions worldwide are marking International Women’s Day in a range of ways, with many working to raise awareness and secure political support for the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI).
More information about the FCO’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative
The FCO’s International Women’s Day activity includes:
- The British Embassy in Rome will be staging a projection onto the Coliseum this evening to raise awareness of the problem of sexual violence in conflict.
- In London, the FCO is holding a PSVI event, aimed to raise awareness among London-based diplomats from around the world. A member of the UK Team of Experts will talk about her experiences as an activist on sexual violence issues.
- A range of Ambassadors across our world-wide blogging network will be writing about PSVI to raise awareness as part of International Women’s Day.
@FCOHumanRights will be tweeting about other activity around the FCO network using #timetoact and #sexualviolence.
- The UK Government has developed a mini-site to highlight our work on women’s rights/issues on International Women’s Day