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O'Rawe - End Violence against women

6 December, 2006

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Women's Issues, Newry Armagh MLA Pat O'Rawe
speaking at an event organised by Amnesty International to discuss the
implication of the "Making the Grade" report carried out by the 'End
Violence Against Women Campaign' has said that while the reports shows that
Tony Blair is failing to tackle violence of women that the situation in the
north of Ireland is even worse.

Ms O'Rawe:

"This report shows that British government has scored 2 out of 10 in terms
of success in putting in place an integrated strategy to end all forms of
violence against women. The score for the North is 1 out of 10."

"The damning criticisms contained in an independent report produced by EVAW,
the End Violence Against Women campaign has slated the Blair government for
scoring 2 out of 10 and cites the complete failure within most government
departments to establish a cross-cutting strategy that will deal with
violence against women in Britain and the North.

"It is estimated that violence against women costs a staggering £23bn
annually yet the increase in such violence is rising to alarming proportions
with increases in rape, sexual assault, stalking, forced marriage, female
genital mutilation and trafficking of women and girls.

"The report highlights that many government departments still perceive
violence against women as limited to domestic violence, resulting in a
complete failure to develop policies and provide resources for these other
equally deplorable forms of violence against women.

"Today's conference organised by Amnesty International will be looking at
the lessons that need to be learnt by the British government and by the
administration here in the North as clearly there needs to be a wake-up call
going out to all departments that they need to develop a joined-up
integrated strategy that will comprehensively address these major issues
facing women and girls in our society.

"Sinn Fein will be looking towards the release of the next "Gender Matters"
strategy which is being produced by OFMDFM to ensure that it not only takes
on board the lessons outlined in "Making the Grade" but that it contains a
strong commitment to ending this abysmal picture of violence which affects
so many by putting in place a cross-cutting strategy with the appropriate
high level targets required to address these issues." ENDS

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