INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day is a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle to achieve gender equality around the world, David Davies MP said.
As part of Monmouth Women’s Festival, Mr Davies attended a global coffee morning at the Shire Hall on Sunday. In a show of solidarity and celebration, guests were encouraged to use technology to connect with women friends in other countries.
Mr Davies said International Women’s Day, held annually on 8th March, was a time for remembrance, awareness and action.
“It is well known that women are treated as second or even third class citizens in many countries of the world,” he said.
“However, we should not be complacent about what is happening in Britain.
“I helped to compile a parliamentary report into the issue of forced marriage and female genital mutilation as a member of the Home Affairs Committee. I visited the Forced Marriage Unit in London which deals with thousands of calls from young girls every year who are abducted by their parents and forced against their will to marry relatives in Asia. All too often, these girls – born and raised in Britain – face a life of slavery.
“We also heard evidence that a number of girls each year are likely to be the victims of so-called “honour killings” if male relatives decide they have brought shame on the household by having any form of interaction with males outside of their community”.
It is a shocking fact, Mr Davies said, that some sections of society continue to hold “medieval and barbaric attitudes” towards women’s rights.
“The UK Government is now taking steps to crack down on these abuses but we have a long way to go,” he added.
“International Women’s Day is a stark reminder that we have much to do to advance the cause of equality.”