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New support boosts Britain’s lead in global drive to tackle violence against girls and women

Britain is stepping up its efforts as a global leader in the fight to eradicate violence against women and girls, announced Priti Patel.

To mark International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women International Development Secretary Priti Patel has set out a new package of UK support to protect women and girls in some of the world’s poorest countries from harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriage, and domestic abuse.

The Department for International Development (DFID) will team up with a range of innovative grassroots organisations with the local knowledge and expertise to drive forward action and achieve results.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

“We cannot and will not tolerate any form of violence against women and girls.

“Britain is leading international efforts across 30 countries to tackle violence against women and girls in all its forms; from ending Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage to preventing domestic abuse.

“UK aid already helps survivors in some of the world’s poorest countries get the care they need - now we are stepping up our global leadership and support to protect even more women and girls and address the root causes of violence.”

The UK is already leading efforts to end this violence through our work in over 30 countries, and the support announced today (27 November) will build on this momentum.

The new support includes:

  • An additional £2.75 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women to support organisations across the world to tackle gender-based violence, improve access to services such as legal assistance and healthcare, and strengthen laws and policies that protect women and girls. This will benefit over 500,000 women and takes total UK contribution to the UN Trust Fund to £8 million.

  • A further £3 million to AmplifyChange, a multi-donor fund working for universal sexual and reproductive health and rights. This UK contribution will include supporting the work of 40 grassroots organisations with the local knowledge and expertise to address FGM and child, early and forced marriage, taking UK total contribution to the fund to £11million.

The announcement comes as the world joins to mark International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 Nov – 10 Dec), which aims to raise public awareness and mobilise people around the world to bring about change.

Gender-based violence is a systematic and widespread human rights violation, harming 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide. It stops girls getting an education, prevents women from earning a wage and causes physical and mental harm.

DFID leading work in this area includes:

  • generating world-leading innovations and evidence on preventing violence against women and girls before it starts, including 26 research projects in 17 countries.

  • making the largest ever donor investment to support the Africa-led movement to end FGM in 17 countries across Africa. Since 2008 more than 13,000 communities - representing more than 10 million people - have publicly committed to ending FGM. Thirteen programme countries have enacted criminal legislation, and with the support of the UK and other donors, 15 countries have a policy framework and/or national action plans to end FGM. Since 2008 more than 13,000 communities - representing more than 10 million people - have publicly committed to ending FGM.

  • a flagship programme to ‘Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage’ which is working across 12 countries to strengthen legal and policy frameworks, scale up access to sexual and reproductive health, education and child protection services for girls at risks of child marriage, and tackle harmful social norms underlying child marriage.

Sexual offences and violence against women and girls are heinous crimes that this Government is determined to tackle.

In the UK the government has taken a range of action; including pledging to increase funding to £80 million to ensure victims get the help they need, when they need it; significantly strengthening the law around FGM and forced marriage, and introducing a new domestic abuse offence to capture coercive and controlling behaviour, as well as new stalking offences.

In addition, the government’s new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy sets out the ambition that by the end of this Parliament no victim of abuse in the UK is turned away from the support they need.

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