The following information was submitted by CARE offices in the countries reviewed in the report to provide additional context and detail.
How The United Kingdom Scored on Our Report Card
What The United Kingdom Is Doing to Support Women and Girls in Crisis
The UK government champions women’s rights and voices in crisis through its adoption of a Strategic Vision on Gender Equality; National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security; and co-chairing of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence coordinated by UN Women. The UK committed at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to put gender equality at the heart of humanitarian action, going beyond protection to ensure girls and women have a voice, choice and control — even when crisis hits. Progress on the commitments the UK made at the WHS is reported for 2019 here.
The UK has played a leading role in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) through path-breaking programs such as What Works to End Violence Against Women and Girls, which builds an evidence base on addressing GBV affecting diverse communities, including in fragile and conflict-affected states, and on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
In response to COVID-19, the UK made a £50 million contribution to UNFPA, UNICEF and UNHCR, which included GBV prevention and response as well as child protection. The UK also increased funding by £1 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Window, adding to an existing £21 million contribution.
The UK has led the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative and remains committed to the Murad Code and other survivor-centered approaches to addressing GBV. The UK continues its leadership role in the Call to Action on Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder platform to accelerate progress on ending GBV worldwide, co-chairing the states and donors working group and supporting cross-Whitehall learning on Gender and Inclusion in Crises via the recently launched staff network at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
In 2021, the continuing leadership role and impact of these programs is not guaranteed due to significant reductions in the aid budget. This reduction could seriously undermine support for women’s leadership in crisis, just as the COVID-19 pandemic has put gender equality at risk. Recent indications show that the UK’s respected comprehensive approach on gender equality will be narrowed to focus on girls’ education.
At the UN and on the international stage, the UK is an important leading voice on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) issues, as one of the P3 (together with France and the United States) permanent members of the UN Security Council supporting human rights, gender equality and sustainable recovery from conflicts and crises. The UK remains committed to supporting the dignity and rights of women and girls worldwide through its leadership at the UN and in multilateral forums. The UK has crucial opportunities to convey this commitment at home in 2021 by hosting the G7 and COP26 conferences. The government will continue to support global recovery from COVID-19, especially in the world’s worst humanitarian crises (where women, girls and other marginalized groups are disproportionately affected) and to address famine and hunger to lift the world’s bottom billion out of poverty.
In March 2021, the world will mark the 10th anniversary of the Syria crisis and the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Other key moments include the Generation Equality Forums, which will be crucial to retain progress on gender equality, the Beijing+25 agenda, and the 21st anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It is crucial that the UK continue its political and financial support for women’s leadership in crisis and work on GBV and SRHR to maintain progress and prevent the rollbacks threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.