Penny Mordaunt pays tribute to Jo Cox and calls for gender equality to be made a reality

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Jo Cox

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has paid tribute to MP Jo Cox’s humanitarian work and called for everyone to “raise their game” to make gender equality a reality, ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day.

Speaking at the headquarters of mobile technology industry association the GSMA, in the City of London, Ms Mordaunt will announce new UK aid support to help grassroots organisations working on issues that were close to Jo’s heart.

Ms Mordaunt will also call for everyone to step up and make gender equality a reality, as part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) new vision to make sure the voices of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries are heard.

The International Development Secretary will say that if progress on gender equality is not sped up, the Global Goals will not be met by 2030.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Jo was a dedicated humanitarian who fought for gender equality at home and in developing countries and her passion and commitment will continue to support the world’s most disadvantaged and disenfranchised women through these new UK aid grants.

“The MeToo movement has sent shockwaves around the world and given a voice to millions of women, but the majority of women and girls in the poorest countries are still not heard.

“We all have the power to change this injustice and that’s why UK aid is keeping girls in school, stamping out violence and giving a voice to women both at home and in shaping the future of their countries.

“It is only by everyone raising their game and making gender equality a reality that we will build a more peaceful, safe and prosperous world for us all.”

The Jo Cox Memorial Grants will be given to projects in developing countries that are working to get the voices of girls and women heard when holding power-holders to account, helping them find jobs and become financially independent and making access to family planning services easier.

The fund will also help strengthen grassroots organisations’ capacity for predicting identity-based violence earlier.

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