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Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment key focus of Irish Aid – Minister Flanagan

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment key focus of Irish Aid – Minister Flanagan

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, this evening launched a series of factsheets on behalf of the Oireachtas All Party Interest Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Development.

The factsheets explain how sexual and reproductive health and rights contribute to better health and education outcomes for women and girls; improve gender equality and support countries to develop sustainably.

Minister Flanagan said:

“Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality are critical in tackling maternal and child mortality, reducing poverty and ensuring that countries develop sustainably.

“Ireland has played a leading role internationally to promote progress on women’s empowerment and maternal mortality.  In September, negotiations will conclude on a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted by a summit of world leaders at the UN in New York. Ireland has been a global champion for the inclusion of an ambitious goal and targets on gender equality in this development agenda.

“Of Irish Aid’s annual budget, 20% is invested in global health and HIV programmes, which is critical to women’s health.  We are working with governments and non-governmental organisations in developing countries to strengthen health systems for improved maternal and child health outcomes.

“Over twenty years ago, in Cairo, the international community agreed on a Programme of Action at the International Conference on Population and Development.  We need to uphold these commitments to continue to work towards women’s empowerment and rights.”

The Oireachtas All Party Interest Group is chaired by Olivia Mitchell, TD.