Gender advocates are surely pleased after a bill meant to require the British government to ensure its development aid helps to reduce gender inequalities received enough support on Friday to move to the House of Lords.
Aid groups backing the bill see Friday’s development as a “good sign” for the gender equality bill, which has received much success following its introduction into parliament in June.
Unlike most private member’s bills, this one has passed all three readings at the House of Commons, was not prevented to reach a vote and enjoys the support of both Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening and Prime Minister David Cameron.
It’s too early to tell how the bill will fare at the House of Lords, or if it will finally become law — but it would be interesting to see how it could change the government’s approach to addressing gender inequality in its aid programs.
But while Taneja — an expert on gender equality — would not comment specifically on the U.K.’s performance on the issue of gender equality, as she says it would require some careful evaluation on their part, she said it would be helpful if donors such as DfID understand the interrelatedness of the different dimensions of gender inequality, and for instance allot a specific budgetary allocation for training implementers.
“If the structural causes are not addressed, no matter what you do for gender mainstreaming, it will not have the desired results. Looking at it holistically is important, and the linkages [such as between girls’ education and why could they be dropping out of school] have to be understood,” she said. “It’s not just the numbers; qualitative indicators also need to be look at [but] often they are neglected.”
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