Pink background with the title, "Achieving Gender Equality in Development"

Preet Kaur Gill MP, Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary has today launched a consultation on how the UK can help achieve gender equality around the world as it recovers from the COVID19 pandemic.

Over the next few months, Labour is encouraging like-minded countries, think tanks, civil society, NGOs, communities, and activists to submit ideas to its consultation to explore and build a transformative policy agenda that supports women and girls to achieve gender equality worldwide.

The world needs gender equality to ensure that everyone has the same rights and protections and to ensure that our recovery from Covid19 builds toward a fairer, environmentally sustainable world.

Worldwide, COVID-19 and measures to fight it have highlighted and exacerbated inequalities. Women’s jobs are being lost at a much faster rate than men’s; an additional 47 million women worldwide are expected to fall into extreme poverty this year; and an additional 20 million girls, on top of the 131 million out of school before the crisis, may never return to the classroom. 

Extreme weather events such as droughts and floods exacerbated by the climate crisis are disproportionately affecting women and girls. Addressing gender inequality will support those women and girls and help societies adapt more quickly to the impacts of changing climate.

Alongside providing immediate support for women and girls, the government must take an active role to support gender equality with long-term goals, understanding that the work must be embedded across different thematic areas.

The consultation, which will run until the end of July, will involve virtual round tables with experts, as well as town hall style engagement events online with groups interested in supporting women’s, and the public to get their views.

These responses will form the basis of Labour’s plan for supporting women and girls to achieve gender equality.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Preet Kaur Gill MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for International Development, said:

“This is a moment of profound economic, social and environmental crisis around the world which is disproportionality impacting women and girls.

“As part of Labour’s deep commitment to human rights and tackling inequalities wherever we find them, we want to work with partners to build a transformative international development policy which takes us forward towards a more gender equal world.”

“This consultation will seek views on specific measures that can be taken to achieve real, sustainable change for women and girls around the world. We know how important this work is to counter the worst impacts of the pandemic and meet our commitment to achieve gender equality by 2030.”

The consultation will be live here: https://www.policyforum.labour.org.uk/gender-inequality