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Africa: Females

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to tackle gender equality and promote the rights and political participation of women in Africa. (211823)

The UK Government are supporting gender equality and women's rights in Africa through our dialogue with development partners, and through our country programmes working with governments and civil society. Gender is mainstreamed in our Country Action Plans and across all our programmes, with particular attention paid to sex disaggregated data and outcomes. Much of our work is focused on MDG 3 and includes an emphasis on women and girls’ access to education, economic opportunities, public services, political participation and decision-making, and maternal mortality. The work that we do supports the Africa Union Africa Women's Protocol on Women's Rights, which a number of African governments have ratified.

The UK Government’s Department for International Development is supporting a number of programmes to specifically promote the rights and political participation of women. More details of our work on political participation and gender can be found on our website in a publication called ‘Governance, Development and Democratic Polities’ which can be found at

Additional information can be found at the Department for International Development's Gender Equality Plan at

and an accompanying publication ‘Gender Equality: At the Heart of Development’ at