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International Women and Girls Strategy 2023-2030

Volume 729: debated on Wednesday 8 March 2023

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is today publishing a new international women and girls strategy 2023-2030.

Launching on International Women’s Day, the new strategy aims to tackle increasing threats to gender equality from climate change, humanitarian crises, conflicts such as the war in Ukraine, and recent attempts to roll back women’s rights, including in countries such as Iran and Afghanistan.

The strategy will set out how the UK will work to tackle global gender inequality at every opportunity, including combating attempts to roll back women’s rights, and work with partners around the world to do the same.

The strategy commits the FCDO to involving its entire network of high commissions and embassies around the world to deliver the strategy. This will include UK heads of mission developing plans and commitments specific to their host country and raising the most pressing issues with their host Governments. The UK will also develop an ambitious new research offer to help the UK and its partners make investment decisions.

The FCDO is also increasing support for women’s rights organisations and movements, recognising their critical role in advancing gender equality and protecting rights, and amplifying grassroots women’s and girls’ voices.

In addition, the strategy commits the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to at least 80% of its bilateral aid programmes having a focus on gender equality by 2030.

The strategy will be guided by five principles:

We will stand up and speak out for women’s and girls’ rights and freedoms on the global stage and in our bilateral relationships.

We will embolden and amplify the work and voices of diverse grassroots women’s organisations and movements, championing their role as critical agents for change.

We will target investment towards the key life stages for women and girls to maximise our effectiveness and secure lifelong and intergenerational impact.

We will act for and with women and girls impacted by crises and shocks, including conflict, global health, climate change, violence, food insecurity and malnutrition, and the resulting humanitarian crises.

We will strengthen systems—political, economic and social—that play a critical role in protecting and empowering women and girls, embracing innovative financing models and technology use to secure long-term development.

FCDO will remain focused on the three thematic priorities of educating girls, empowering women and girls, championing their health and rights and ending gender-based violence. These are considered areas where challenges are the most acute, potential gains are greatest and where the UK is best placed to add value and catalyse progress.

The strategy sets out new headline goals on how the FCDO will lead this work, including by:

driving the conversation, through a major UK global campaign;

leading by example, by ensuring women and girls are at the centre of FCDO’s operations and investments;

leading through knowledge, by driving forward new expertise, evidence and research;

A copy of the strategy has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and is available on