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Education of Women and Girls

Volume 679: debated on Tuesday 8 September 2020

What steps he is taking to use UK influence to improve the education of women and girls throughout the world. (905656)

Standing up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is a major priority for the Government and the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, but covid-19 is having a profound effect on the barriers to education girls face and putting them at risk of dropping out of school permanently, so a focus on girls’ education is more important than ever. That is why, in response, we have adapted our education programmes in 18 countries and provided more than £10 million of new funding to support refugee and displaced children to access education.

I hear what the Minister has said, but today and this week we want the Prime Minister to stick to his agreements and promises, and he recently promised me that the Government’s highest priority would be tackling the lack of education for girls worldwide. Some 15 million little girls do not even get to primary school. There is an enormous commitment from the United Nations sustainable development goals to do something about that. Can I have an assurance that the ministerial team will keep berating the Prime Minister until we get action?

Let us be absolutely clear: as the FCDO, we will continue to deploy the UK’s diplomatic clout and world-leading development expertise to secure greater global ambition and investment in girls’ education. The Prime Minister has been clear in his commitment to that.