Select Committee on International Development First Special Report

Memorandum submitted by the Department for International Development

WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT (Seventh Report 1998-99)

DFID's global strategy for promoting women's equality has recently been updated and will be published at the end of this month (September) as one of the series of "Strategies for Achieving the International Development Targets". The paper, entitled "Poverty Elimination and the Empowerment of Women" reflects many of the concerns raised by the Committee in its Seventh Report. It underlines the direct relationship between investing in women, supporting them in the achievement of their human rights and in the elimination of world poverty.

Plans are now well advanced for a comprehensive evaluation of our support to gender equality. A detailed study design will be submitted for senior management approval within the next few weeks. Our Bangladesh programme has recently developed a new gender strategy which, among other things, points to the need for better data to support women's equality in that country. The strategy will inform future DFID support to gender work as part of our country strategy.

Work on communications and media work has been developing at a fast pace, with gender concerns being prominent. A new media and conflict guide is about to be published ("Working with media in conflicts and other emergencies") which includes practical guidance on mainstreaming gender in this work and assessing impact. Gender impact components are also being developed in DFID-supported media programmes in Bangladesh, Malawi, Brazil and Peru. A strong gender component is also being developed in our global "Bridging the Digital Divide" programme.

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