The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has published its Women and Girls strategy, setting out its commitment to tackle increasing threats to gender equality.
Alongside the strategy, the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced funding for WISH Dividend—a new women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights programme, focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Reaching up to 10.4 million women, the programme will receive up to £200 million and is expected to prevent up to 30,600 maternal deaths, 3.4 million unsafe abortions and 9.5 million unintended pregnancies.
An MSI spokesperson said:
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we warmly welcome the UK government’s new strategy to tackle gender inequality, and their commitment to putting women and girls at the heart of the UK’s international work.
With growing attempts to roll back hard won rights, now more than ever we need sustained global leadership and funding to ensure that women and girls have voice, choice and control over their lives.
We particularly welcome the commitment to involving the FCDO’s entire network of High Commissions and Embassies around the world to deliver the strategy and the specific funding commitment to a new sexual and reproductive health and rights programme.
Reproductive choice is foundational to so many areas of global development, ending preventable deaths, supporting girls to stay in school, and providing women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed, and there is no better investment to provide results and value to the UK taxpayer.”