The UK has always championed freedom of religion or belief for everyone. As a country that has always been a beacon for freedom and tolerance, I passionately believe the UK should not shirk its responsibilities.
That is why I am glad the Government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review of UK support for persecuted Christians by 2022. I also welcome the recent appointment of Fiona Bruce MP as the PM's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. The UK remains concerned about global levels of intolerance, discrimination and persecution of people because of their religious belief and has rightly stepped up its focus on this issue over the last few years.
As you know, Christian women are more likely than men to be victims of discrimination and persecution. I understand that the Government acknowledges this and that human rights policy work already considers the intersectionality of human rights. Last year, the UK joined the International Religious Freedoms Alliance and Ministers have explained that the UK will use our membership to highlight the importance of considering the intersectionality of human rights.
More broadly, I know that ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a priority for the FCDO. I am proud of the leadership that the UK has shown, supporting the UN and national governments to eliminate all forms of VAWG. This includes the largest single investment to help end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the world ever: the UK is providing an extra £50 million to support the African-led movement to end FGM by 2030 and provide better protection for vulnerable girls. The UK has also committed to use our Presidency of the G7 this year to spearhead international action on Gender Equality