“We know what works, as this report shows; now it is time for action.” Gro Harlem Brundtland A UK parliamentary committee calls for ending violence against women and girls to be prioritised in international development efforts. The Elders have welcomed their findings, after Gro Harlem Brundtland gave evidence to the committee earlier this year.
The Elders welcome the report published last week by the UK parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC), Violence Against Women and Girls.
The report’s recommendations to the Department for International Development include challenging attitudes and behaviours that sustain gender-based violence; involving women’s organisations in policy decisions and giving them more direct funding; and prioritising violence against women and girls in humanitarian situations.
Gro Harlem Brundtland gave evidence at an IDC hearing in March, drawing on her experience as Prime Minister of Norway and her involvement in The Elders’ campaign to end child marriage.
In her statement to the IDC, she warned that “we must keep violence against women on the agenda” in order to avoid backsliding on international human rights standards in the name of culture or national sovereignty. Dr Brundtland also emphasised the importance of challenging the social norms that encourage practices that harm girls and women, such as child marriage, and the need to support effective community-led initiatives.
Responding to the report’s publication, Gro Harlem Brundtland stated:
“I welcome the findings of the Committee. Tackling the root causes of child marriage and other forms of violence against girls and women is essential for development and should be prioritised across all development programmes, including in humanitarian settings. The UK’s leadership in mainstreaming this issue is an excellent example to other countries.
“More than 14 million girls are married off as children every year, according to latest estimates. The UK’s leadership in mainstreaming this issue is an excellent example to other countries. I hope donor governments will now invest in scaling up the community programmes that are making a real impact. We know what works, as this report shows; now it is time for action.”