Bishop of Gloucester asks about women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to HIV prevention

The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question on women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa, during a debate on government plans to combat HIV, tabled for World AIDS day on 1st December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are three times more likely to acquire HIV than adolescent boys and men. Can the Minister say what is being done to fund programmes which help to keep girls in education, which we know reduces their vulnerability to HIV by up to 50%?

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to HIV prevention”

Church Commissioners Written Answers: Church Land, Environment, Persecuted Christians (Africa and China), Women in Ministry, Equality, Energy

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answerto questions from MPs on 1st December 2022:

Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church is taking steps to plant more trees on its land in rural areas.

Andrew Selous MP (Con): During 2021 the Church Commissioners planted approximately 2 million trees across their land holdings. In 2021 the Commissioners also purchased land in Wales with the intention of establishing a new woodland of c.85,000 new trees (subject to the grant of planting permissions).

Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answers: Church Land, Environment, Persecuted Christians (Africa and China), Women in Ministry, Equality, Energy”

Bishop of Durham speaks in a debate on women’s equality

On 17th March 2022, the House of Lords debated a motion to take note regarding Protecting the Equality of Women in the UK and Internationally. The Bishop of Durham spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is my pleasure to speak in today’s debate and to follow the noble Lord, Lord Purvis of Tweed. Like him, I will begin by focusing on international issues. I did put the word around to see if any of my female colleagues were available, because they are more qualified to speak than me, but none of them were today so you have to put up with me. I am glad to have this opportunity.

First, there is much I want to celebrate. As part of my brief, I take special interest in two of the poorest nations on earth, Burundi and Lesotho—one of the others is South Sudan. These nations are making great progress on women’s equality. It has been my privilege to visit Lesotho a couple of times and Burundi very many times. I would like to share some examples.

This month, the Women’s Investment and Development Bank has been introduced in Burundi. This has been praised by the UN as a step towards women’s economic empowerment in that nation. The bank will grant low-interest loans to women’s collectives and their development projects, and will provide training on profitable business.

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Bishop of Gloucester asks about women accessing mental health services

The Bishop of Gloucester received the following written answer on 16th March 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government how many women aged (1) 18 to 24, and (2) 25 years or older, have accessed primary care mental health services, in each of the last 10 years.

Lord Kamal (Con): The information requested is not collected centrally.

Hansard

Queen’s Speech – Bishop of Gloucester on criminal justice, violence against women and girls, online safety

On 18th May 2021 the Bishop of Gloucester took part in the fourth day of debate in the House of Lords on the Queen’s Speech. She focused on criminal justice, violence against women and girls, and online safety:

My Lords, I too look forward to the maiden speeches of the noble Baroness, Lady Fullbrook and Lady Fleet. In my few minutes, I shall briefly mention women in the criminal justice system, the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, violence against women and girls and the online safety Bill. I refer to my interests in the register, as Anglican bishop to prisons.

I begin by asking: when will we see a renewed timetable for the 2018 female offender strategy? While I welcome the implementation of some of the deliverables, analysis by the Prison Reform Trust shows that the Government have met less than half the commitments. The concordat published last year does not appear to have been progressed. Then there was that shocking announcement of 500 new prison places for women, totally at odds with the strategy’s direction to reduce the number of women in prison. What evidence is it based on, and why is the designated £150 million not being spent on women’s centres and implementing the concordat?

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Bishop of Gloucester asks about pregnant women and mothers in prison, impact on families of remand backlog

On 16th December the Bishop of Gloucester received written answers to questions on pregnant women and mothers in prison, and the impact on families of the remand backlog:

Prisoners on Remand

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the remand backlog on (1) prison overcrowding, and (2) the health and wellbeing of prisoners, including children and young people held on remand. [HL11119]

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about pregnant women and mothers in prison, impact on families of remand backlog”

Bishop of Peterborough presses Government to rectify problem with war widows’ pension payments

On 10th December 2020 the Bishop of Peterborough asked Government when it would make retrospective the ability of war widows to retain pension entitlements if they remarried before the law changed:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough [V]:  My Lords, David Cameron, under whose premiership the new rules came in, has admitted that the current situation is a mistake and was not intended. It is manifestly unjust and betrays those who have served our country. The ridiculous rule that people could rectify the situation by divorcing and then remarrying undermines the institution of marriage. Does this not make it entirely justifiable to overturn, or at least suspend, the policy to which the Minister refers?

Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough presses Government to rectify problem with war widows’ pension payments”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about plans to tackle root causes of violence against women and girls

On 10th November Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked the Government “what are their plans (1) to participate in, and (2) to promote, the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign between 25 November and 10 December.” The Bishop of Gloucester asked a further question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester [V]: As has already been noted, if we are serious about eliminating gender violence worldwide, we have to address the root causes. What plans do the Government have to follow Australia’s lead and develop a national primary prevention framework to change the attitudes, behaviours and structures that underpin violence against women and girls? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about plans to tackle root causes of violence against women and girls”

Bishop of Bristol asks Government about plans to help migrant women suffering domestic abuse

On 27th October 2020 Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate asked the Government “what steps they are taking to protect victims of domestic abuse.” The Bishop of Bristol asked as follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Bristol [V]: My Lords, I add my voice to the concerns raised by many others in this House about how migrant women will be affected by the Domestic Abuse Bill. I thank the Government for their £1.5 million commitment to support research into the particular needs of this vulnerable group, but how many women is the scheme expected to support and what specific questions will the pilot be seeking to answer? Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks Government about plans to help migrant women suffering domestic abuse”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about funding for Female Offender Strategy

On Tuesday 29th September the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government on its Female Offenders Strategy. The exchanges are below, with the follow-up questions asked by other Members.

Female Offender Strategy

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the level of funding that has been provided to the Female Offender Strategy launched in June 2018, and (2) whether such funding is sufficient to implement the Strategy fully.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): My Lords, we are committed to ensuring sufficient funding for the female offender strategy, which we keep under review. To date, we have invested £5.1 million in the strategy in 30 different women’s services across England and Wales. In 2021, we will invest a further £2.5 million to meet ​core costs in the women’s community sector. In addition, we have been allocated up to £800,000 to support the development of our first residential women’s centre in Wales.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer. Given the amount of money that the MoJ spends each year, the high cost of reoffending and the relatively small number of female offenders, why have the Government seemingly invested so little in their own strategy? When will we hear details of the implementation of the strategy, given that it all seems to have gone very quiet? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about funding for Female Offender Strategy”

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