Sunday, 19 January 2014

My speech on Gender Equality, Syria and International Development

A good debate, and my speech 24 minutes in:
It is a speech I am really proud of. The background to the Bill is as follows.
The Gender Equality (International Development) Bill completed its final stages in the House of Commons after receiving cross-party support on 17 January 2014. This private member's bill, introduced by Conservative MP Bill Cash, would require the International Development Secretary to consider whether proposed assistance will reduce poverty in a way that is also likely to contribute to reducing inequality, before providing aid to developing countries.
Mr Cash said that his bill was inspired by his experiences in India and Africa where he witnessed women carrying out most of the work to help improve their societies. According to government statistics women do an estimated 60% of the world's work but on average earn only 10% of the world's income and only own 2% of the world's land.

Opening the debate Mr Cash said "this bill will help enormously a social revolution" helping women in developing countries. This bill achieves as much as the British people and Government can achieve in terms of putting women's rights at the heart of the international development agenda" Mr Cash continued.

Brick in the wall: During the debate Mr Cash read a letter of support he had received from the prime minster out to the chamber. Mr Cash told the house that David Cameron had called his bill "another brick in the wall of the whole argument that this should be a year that we really deliver a massive joined up agenda on women's empowerment and equality all around the world."
In the letter Mr Cameron also wrote that "the bill will make Britain have a leading role in examining gender equality before we deploy aid and other resources."
The debate is worth following in full.