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Talks to tackle poverty among women

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell is having a meeting with Michelle Bachelet, head of UN Women, to discuss a "once in a generation" opportunity to turn around the lives of women across the developing world.

The pair are to hold talks in London to discuss how the organisation will work with the UN, the World Bank and the international community to tackle poverty among women and girls.

Key items on the agenda include looking at how to encourage organisations to tackle violence against women and increase their access to justice, while working to change certain male attitudes.

They will also consider how best to work with international agencies including the European Commission to ensure they have a positive impact on lives.

"A girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in child birth than to complete primary school," Mr Mitchell said.

"No fact could more eloquently underline why the UN and the British Government has placed girls and women at the forefront of our development commitment to tackle global poverty."

Ms Bachelet will also meet Home Secretary Theresa May, International Development minister Alan Duncan and junior equalities minister Lynne Featherstone who is also the UK's international violence against women champion.

Marg Mayne, CEO, of international development organisation VSO International, said UN Women had a "once in a generation" opportunity to achieve equality around the world.

The Department for International Development announced in December that it would put women at the centre of its work, committing to saving the lives of at least 50,000 women in childbirth and 250,000 newborns.

UN Women, which began work in January, brings together four UN organisations which previously worked on gender issues. A YouGov survey commissioned by VSO, released to coincide with the visit, found that 24% of British people want access to education for women and girls to be its focus.


From Belfast Telegraph