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International: UK takes lead on violence against women and girls

International: UK takes lead on violence against women and girls

Britain has become the largest government funder of programmes to prevent violence against women and girls globally after launching a seven-year project targeting countries with some of the highest levels of abuse, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The £67.5m Department for International Development ‘What Works’ programme will bolster projects which have shown success across Africa and Asia, and will pilot and research new ideas to tackle the problem.

Surveys have shown that 64% of women in Zambia say they had been sexually assaulted by their partner and 33% had been kicked, dragged, choked or burned. In war-blighted South Sudan as many as 70% of women and girls said they had experienced some form of violence while in a relationship.

The department’s chief scientific adviser Charlotte Watts said: “People think it’s going to take generations, but what’s so powerful about What Works is that it is not only showing we are preventing violence, but that these impacts are being achieved over two to three years. Strong evidence gives us the tools to argue the importance of investing in prevention.”

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