Commenting on a speech about women's empowerment made yesterday (4 March 2013) by Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, at an event co-hosted by Christian Aid, the development agency’s director backed the proposition.
Loretta Minghella said: "Christian Aid warmly welcomes Justine Greening’s focus to help women and girls have greater choice, voice and control in their lives. This Friday the world marks International Women’s Day and today activists, academics, officials and ministers gather in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
"We welcome, too, the Secretary of State’s plans to launch an international call for action to address violence against women and girls in humanitarian situations. Her push for a stand-alone goal on gender equality in plans that will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015, is much to be applauded."
Ms Minghella added: "Across the world, gender inequality persists despite our progress in human rights and equality, undermining our efforts to eradicate poverty. Indeed, women are more likely to experience poverty than men, and six out of ten women globally will experience physical and/or sexual violence within their lifetime, an injustice which must be addressed. The Secretary of State today highlighted the pandemic of violence against women, and DFID’s work towards a strong outcome at this year’s CSW.
"The CSW is a key opportunity to establish global standards in tackling violence against women and girls, an area that needs vital support from governments, civil society and faith groups alike, to address damaging social and cultural norms. We look forward to the UK delegation pushing for a strong outcome this year."
Christian Aid’s Senior Advisor on Poverty and Inequality, Helen Dennis, added: "We are delighted to hear the Secretary of State pledge her personal commitment to a stand-alone goal on gender equality in the post-MDG discussions.
"We now need to see a similar commitment from other global leaders, and to see a goal on achieving greater equality between women and men. As the Secretary of State said, it is both the smart, and right, thing to do. This could lead to action to protect women from violence and see them realise their potential in business, as political leaders and as drivers of social change.”