Is development a feminist issue? Parliamentary event: 3rd July

The short answer is yes.  Women are half of the world’s population, yet make up 70% of the world’s poor.  Girls are more than 70% of the 125 million children not in school, and make up two thirds of the world’s illiterate people.  Pregnancy and childbirth killed 287,000 women in 2010, and fewer than half of pregnant women in low income countries had access to skilled healthcare when giving birth.  One in three women around the world will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.

When women speak up about what is happening, they too often experience violent backlash.  The case of Malala, a young woman in Pakistan campaigning for education, was one high profile case, and sadly there are many more women hurt or killed for their commitments to women’s rights.

To compound these issues, globally women make up fewer than 20% of parliamentarians, so their voices are lost when decisions are made about the future of their countries.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, and women are not to be underestimated.  Despite the barriers they face, women are often at the forefront of contributing to development in their communities and countries.  There are actions we can take in the UK, to campaign in solidarity with women in the global south, and call for a fairer world.  

Please join LCID and Fabian Women’s Network at our joint event to discuss these issues and more.  It promises to be an invigorating information-sharing evening to build knowledge of the issues affecting women in developing countries.  A diverse panel of speakers, including Rushanara Ali MP from Labour’s Shadow Development team, and ActionAid’s Mel Ward,  will discuss the ways in which women are affected by and involved in international development.

A participatory Q+A session will encourage participants to share their experiences and learn from each other.  Focus will be given to learning and action – how we can build solidarity with women in the global south, support their advocacy for equal rights and a better world, and ensure that their voices are heard by the UK government and the Labour party.

The event takes place on July 3rd, 6.30-8.30pm, Committee room 6.  To reserve a place please email claire.smith@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk.

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