An event held in advance on Friday’s International Women’s Day saw the head of the UK’s Department for Intentional Development (DfID), Justine Greening, unveil new ways that the body will prioritize women and girls. “Investing in girls and women works — it’s becoming increasingly a core business strategy yielding real investor returns,” she said. “Locking out women isn’t just bad for an economy, it’s bad for a society. It seems common sense, but it’s still happening. From the very start girls lose out.”
Greening discussed how the UK sees Afghanistan as strategic priority for advancing the protection of women and girls in order to build upon the nation building efforts over the past decade. She also unveiled a list of ways that DfID will support women. Devex lists:
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- An 11.5 million pounds ($17.3 million) support for the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab project, which will focus on research highlighting “what works in terms of giving girls and women control over their economic lives in sub-Saharan Africa.”
- More funding to provide 3 million contraceptive implants and 17 million female condoms, and for a so-called Leadership for Change program, which will help promote and enhance women’s leadership skills.
- A high-level conference sometime in September whose aim is to galvanize action on violence against women and girls in humanitarian emergencies. The event will be participated by donors, aid agencies and gender advocates, among others.
- The establishment of an expert advisory group, which, according to Greening, will include leaders from human rights groups, the private sector and civil society.