Dame Anne Begg MP is today supporting International Day of the Girl, a UN-led campaign to raise awareness of gender inequalities and abuse suffered by girls around the world and this year’s theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”.
The Labour Party has made stopping violence against women and girls a key priority for their programme for Government. Earlier this year, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP announced that a Labour Government would bring in new legislation to give better support to victims of violence and bring perpetrators to justice. And in the summer the Party appointed Seema Malhotra MP as the first ever Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence against Women and Girls.
The Labour Party has committed to:
- Introducing a new Commissioner of Domestic and Sexual Violence to sit at the heart of Government and ensure victims voices are being heard
- New national standards for policing to drive up performance across the board
- Introducing compulsory sex & relationship education in all state-funded schools, so young people are taught that no form of violence in relationships is acceptable
- A new £3million annual fund for refuges supporting victims of domestic violence
- New FGM Protection Orders to stop children suspected of being at risk of FGM from being taken abroad
Dame Anne said: “I want girls in Aberdeen South growing up knowing they won’t face discrimination because of their gender and never fearing violence will be used against them. That is why it is important that we continue to fight for gender equality and continue speaking out against violence and discrimination – in our local area, but also across the country and internationally too.
“This is an incredibly important cause and that’s why a Labour Government – and a Labour MP in Aberdeen South – will make it a priority.”
Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls said: “The global level of violence girls in our country is horrific. All too often rape and violence are used as weapons of war and in many countries discrimination against girls is deeply embedded in the national culture. International Day of the Girl is an important moment where we can stand side-by-side with women and girls across the world and say: ‘we will not stand for this. We want change.’
“And we need change in our country too. Teenage girls and young women are now the most likely group to be victims of domestic violence, thousands of girls are at risk of FGM and NUS report a growing number of sexual assaults at university.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to this growing violence. That is why Labour is putting this issue centre stage in our plans for Government.”
You can find out more about the UN International Day of the Girl at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child