Monday, April 07, 2008

Does this Government care about violence to women - or not?

Last week a colleague and I watched two women members of this Government telling us how well they felt they were all doing with gender work throughout Government, how good they were about it being top of the agenda and part of everything they do.

The occasion was the launch of 'Making the Grade 07' by EVAW its annual assessment of what UK Government Departments are doing to tackle violence against women.

EVAW commends the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for scoring top marks for the second year running - they managed 7/10. Other departments managed halves and quarter marks - with DEFRA and Dept of Transport managing a zero caused by 'can't be botheredness' one presumes.

We are told the CPS is leading the way across Whitehall in developing a Violence Against Women Strategy. What is astonishing is that other departments are still failing to take this issue seriously meaning that policies on poverty, education and social exclusion do not make the connection to violence against women.


The Government shoots itself in the foot regarding women yet again.

We hear today that despite welcome talk about UNSCR 1325 and other gender-positive international obligations, no name has ever been submitted for a place on the CEDAW committee from the UK, and no-one is presently being nominated by the UK for any of the upcoming 11 places. Enquiries at the FCO say 'no funds to promote a UK nominee'

CEDAW was adopted nearly 30 years ago by the UN General Assembly, described as an international bill of rights for women.

But does the UK Government care about it? I think not. 'No funds to promote' ? Rather a feeble response when this is one of the toughest issues facing society today.


Fiona said...

Would absolutely endorse all this. We should be in there encouraging other parts of the world to tackle discrimation head on. How can the Government say that it has no funds to put anyone forward?

Pandagirl said...

Didn't realise this about the government - its awful! I think this calls for some letter writing!

MargaritaGirl said...

No funds?! This is a joke, when:

The Department of Health has spent £608,000 on TEN different consultancy companies to "help" implement cost cutting in the department.

Total spending on consultants to the government is anywhere between £1.5-£3 BILLION.

Special advisers have doubled and cost us £360,000 in foreign trips, on top of their £3.5m salaries (more than MPs).

The government advertises all its failures to us, costing us £200m a year - three times more than under the last Conservative government.

One advert alone for the Inland Revenue had to be remade because Gordon Brown didn't like the dog - cost to us: £20,000

£90m spent on the ridiculous "Respect" unit - which unsurprisingly was a complete waste of time and money.

Photo shoots and beauty treatments for teenage mothers as part of the Sure Start scheme cost £3.4m (I kid you not!)

And the list goes on and on and on...

And they can't fund a place on the CEDAW committee.

If it wasn't so tragic, it would be laughable.