Parliamentary committee report on violence against women and girls

In June 2013, the International Development Committee published a report on ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’.

The report argues that ending violence against women and girls is the litmus test for whether ‘development’ is working in poor countries such as Afghanistan.

Launching the report, Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Bruce MP, Chair of International Development Committee, said,

Violence against women expresses a deep-seated contempt that, regrettably, persists in some countries towards women and girls. It has been the ‘forgotten Millennium Development Goal’. The way in which any nation treats its women holds the key to its social and economic advancement. When you treat women as chattels – when you mutilate them, abuse them, force them to marry early, lock them out of school or stop them entering the workforce – you fail to function as a society.

The MPs urge the UK government to continue its strong international leadership on tackling sexual violence through its initiative to curb the use of rape in war , but warn that:

The UK’s international leadership is weakened by its failure to address violence within its own borders…Robust action should be taken to counter political correctness and address culturally sensitive practices such as female genital mutilation within the UK.

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