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4 July 2023 - FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health - Oral evidence

Committee International Development Committee
Inquiry FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Start times: 2:00pm (private) 2:30pm (public)

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International Development Committee hears evidence on the FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health

On Tuesday 4th July at 14.30 the International Development Committee holds the second evidence hearing in its inquiry on the FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health in UK aid programmes and spending.

Questions will cover marginalised groups’ access to FCDO sexual and reproductive health aid programmes and how far FCDO strategies take account of the needs of marginalised groups; the particular challenges faced by people when living with HIV and AIDS in lower-income countries and whether the FCDO approach takes sufficient account and action on “neglected” disease FGS, which has high medical and social impacts; and helping lower-income countries develop their own medicines at lower cost.

Globally, in every country with available data, more women than men are recorded to be living with a disability. 22.1% of women in lower-income countries have a disability, compared to 14.4% in higher-income countries. Women living in poverty are more likely to acquire disabilities, and every minute more than 30 women are seriously injured or acquire a disability during childbirth. People with disabilities face stigma, negative attitudes and discrimination from communities and health workers leading them to be denied access to information and services, and are subject to forced sterilisation and contraception, female genital mutilation and coerced abortion.

Discrimination by healthcare providers and legislation that criminalises same-sex relationships increase the barriers faced by LGBT+ people accessing sexual and reproductive health services and information in lower-income countries and can impact the organisations providing it.

Meeting details

At 2:30pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health
Chief Executive Officer at CBM UK
CBM Zimbabwe Country Advisory Panel (non-exec role) at CBM UK
Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Kaleidoscope Trust
Director, Global Inclusive Health at Humanity & Inclusion
At 3:15pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry FCDO’s approach to sexual and reproductive health
Founding Director at Salamander Trust
Senior Advisor, Global NTD Programme at WHO HQ, Representative for the FGS Integration Group (FIG)
Head of Global Advocacy at Frontline AIDS

The second panel will cover FCDO’s approach to sexually transmitted infections in UK aid programming, with emphasis on HIV and AIDS, and female genital schistosomiasis or FGS - a neglected tropical disease that is not sexually transmitted but disproportionately affects women and girls, with complications including infertility and still birth and increased risk of HIV transmission, bladder cancer and cervical cancer.

The misdiagnosis of FGS as a sexually transmitted infection puts women at risk of increased gender-based violence because of their perceived sexual activity or sexual behaviour. Though treatable and preventable by a short course of medication, traditional treatment approaches have focused on mass drug administration through school-based campaigns that do not reach adolescent girls and women of reproductive age.


The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

How to attend