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Developing Countries: Females

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to improve women’s (a) access to education, (b) political empowerment and (c) access to family planning resources in developing countries. (195744)

The UK Government will spend £8.5 billion on education in our partner countries over the period 2006-07 to 2015-16. We prioritise girls’ education by supporting our partner governments in putting gender equality at the heart of their own education programmes and by supporting education skills and literacy programmes which target women and girls. DFID is also taking a lead on raising awareness of the importance of girls education with our international partners and is supporting the Global Campaign for Education in its efforts to promote education for girls.

Women’s political participation is promoted by supporting civic and voter education projects and skills and leadership training for female candidates and women’s groups. These activities have resulted in better representation of women within political parties and in local government and national parliaments.

Between 2004 and 2008, the UK Government have provided £80 million in core resources and announced an additional contribution of £100 million over five years to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This will allow the UNFPA to improve access and supplies of family planning commodities in the developing world. DFID also works with partner governments to ensure access to family planning is prioritised in their health plans.