§ Clare Short
The Beijing Conference was a landmark for gender equality. We are building on the progress previously noted in the development section of the UK's National Report published by DfEE last November, copies of which were placed in the Library of the House. We assess and address inequalities between women and men, girls and boys in relation to all the strategic objectives established in the Beijing Platform for Action. Progress has included more systematic tackling of gender inequalities as part of all our development co-operation activities. We have also increased the number of focused initiatives to enhance women's empowerment and strengthened our dialogue with multilateral organisations. I will outline future plans in my speech at the Commonwealth Institute later this month.