The UK government is stepping up its efforts to protect women and girls, in the global push to end gender violence once and for all. 

It has announced a new aid package that will help an estimated 750,000 women and girls vulnerable to gender-based violence in all forms, including female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, and domestic and sexual violence. 

The latest commitment was launched on the back of the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, on Saturday, which was the kickoff of the #16Days campaign to end gender-based violence. Global Citizen supports this campaign, and you can take action as part of it here.

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“It is truly shocking that violence against women and girls remains one of the most systemic, widespread, human-rights violations worldwide. The high rates of this crime across the world are a global scandal,” said the UK’s new International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, in a statement

“Today we are stepping up our leadership — working closely with women leaders and grassroots charities — to help even more survivors in some of the world’s poorest countries overcome the traumas of violence and tackle the root causes of this crime,” Mordaunt said. 

The Department for International Development’s (DfID) new package of support will provide up to £12 million to the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women (UNTF) over three years. 

The funding will increase access to crucial services like legal assistance, health care, counselling, safe spaces for survivors, and work with communities to prevent and break the cycles of violence.

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“This year’s commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women comes at a unique moment coinciding with the unprecedented mobilisation of millions of voices of survivors of violence behind the #MeToo movement,” said Aldijana Sisic of the UN Trust Fund. 

“Violence against women is not inevitable and it can be ended with a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach,” Sisic added, saying the renewed contribution from the UK is welcome.

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Last year, the Trust Fund supported projects in 77 countries and regions around the world, which directly benefited 250,000 women and girls. 

The latest UK aid package adds to the already significant work by the UK government to end violence against women globally. 

UK aid is pioneering 15 innovative approaches to prevent gender-based violence across 12 countries — reaching an estimated 100,000 people. 

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, for example, DfID is helping support schools to better protect children. In Bangladesh, the UK is working with businesses and grassroots organisations to end harassment of women workers in garment factories.

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In Uganda, UK aid is preventing and responding to domestic violence by changing stigma, discrimination, and attitudes about the acceptability of violence. It is leading a transformation in efforts to stamp out domestic violence, with women in the target communities now 52% less likely to experience physical violence from a partner. 

Global Citizen supports the global push to end gender-based violence around the world, through ongoing campaigns such as the #16Days campaign and the #LeveltheLaw campaign, which aims to eliminate laws that discriminate against women and girls. You can join us by taking action here.


Demand Equity

The UK Will Help 750,000 Women and Girls In Latest Push to End Gender Violence

By Imogen Calderwood