New Bill puts gender equality at centre of development

Bill Cash MP has introduced a Bill to help UK aid reach more of the poorest women and girls.


17 Jan 2014

Today the Gender Equality (International Development) Bill successfully passed through report stage and third reading in the House of Commons.

The new Bill would require ministers and civil servants to consider the impact that international aid has on building equality between men and women. This is vital if UK aid is to help deliver water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere.

This important Bill is supported by David Cameron, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and the opposition. It will now be debated in the House of Lords.

Barbara Frost, WaterAid Chief Executive, said:

"We are so pleased to see that considerations for gender equality will be included in the way UK plans its foreign aid programmes. These solutions are often as simple as including separate boys’ and girls’ toilets in a school to help girls finish their education, instead of dropping out at puberty. By considering these kinds of issues in the UK’s aid spending, help can be better targeted towards where it’s needed most, to reach the 768 million people worldwide without access to clean water and 2.5 billion without access to proper toilets."

Bill Cash, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stone and Chair of the Water and Sanitation in the Third World All-Party Parliamentary Group, said:

"Women represent approximately half the people in the world and they are vital to the relief of poverty. I am delighted that the Bill will further the UN Millennium Development Goal to promote gender equality and to empower women. I hope the Bill will be a beacon to other people throughout the world that shows the importance of the role of women, of empowering them and of providing them with a means to help other people, but also to help the women themselves. This should be the year when we really deliver a massive joined-up agenda on women’s empowerment and women’s equality all across the world."