HC Deb 14 February 2003 vol 400 cc2-3W
Margaret Moran

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she is taking to raise awareness of domestic violence in third world countries; and what developments are being made in providing services for victims. [97745]

Clare Short

Gender equality is an essential precondition for poverty eradication and upholding human rights. Addressing domestic violence is an important component of this work. My Department is making a substantial effort to raise awareness of this complex issue, through partnerships with many poor countries, and with the donor community, including the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the UN Development Fund for Women. Support for legal literacy, and access to justice programmes, focus on women and address the root causes of disempowerment and vulnerability to violence especially domestic, but also by police, and in prisons.

In working to meet our objective to increase women's personal security and reduce gender-based violence, we are supporting for example:

Reform and strengthening of criminal and civil law

Awareness-raising of women's rights among police and judiciary

Public information campaigns

Women's organisations

Improved knowledge and statistics

For illustration, DFID assistance is helping to establish the first family protection unit in the Arab world, providing £2 million over three years in Jordan. We are supporting work to sensitise the police in Bangladesh to violence against women, and counselling for the survivors of domestic violence (£4 million over five years). In Pakistan, we are assisting in the design of a comprehensive national strategy including awareness-raising through a national "zero tolerance" media campaign, and the building of referral systems to provide support and recourse for victims, and for community-based dispute resolution (£2 million over three years). In Uganda, we have supported pilot work to establish policy, procedures and practical measures at community level (£95,000). There are many other similar examples.

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