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Foreign Secretary statement for International Women’s Day

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Foreign Secretary William Hague calls for greater international action to tackle sexual violence in conflict.

The Foreign Secretary William Hague and the UK team of experts working on preventing sexual violence.
William Hague and the UK team of experts working on preventing sexual violence

Foreign Secretary William Hague will mark International Women’s Day tomorrow with a vow to redouble efforts to tackle the culture of impunity surrounding sexual violence in conflict and ensure survivors’ voices can be heard.

The Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), a key foreign affairs priority for the UK’s G8 Presidency this year, aims to increase the number of perpetrators facing justice, push for greater international action and help countries improve their efforts to tackle these crimes and support survivors.

The Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women’s achievements, but also to highlight where more work needs to be done.

Sexual violence as a weapon of war is not just a crime against women. But the majority of attacks are against women and girls, with hundreds of thousands suffering appalling sexual crimes in conflict zones. It is a sad truth that too often the perpetrators go unpunished.

My pledge during the UK’s G8 Presidency year and beyond is to work to end the culture of impunity that exists around these crimes and to galvanise the international community to greater action.

We will use the G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in April to push for a clear political statement of our collective determination to make real, tangible progress on combating the use of sexual violence in conflict.

And we are taking other practical steps with our Team of Experts who will this year work with civil society and international organisations in their efforts supporting survivors and gathering evidence to help bring criminals to justice.

Further Information

Find out about UK government action to empower women across the globe

Read more about the UK’s preventing sexual violence initiative

Find out more about the UK team of experts

Published 7 March 2013