Baroness Tonge – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Tonge on 2016-06-27.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Rwanda concerning reports that women are being imprisoned for having an abortion after being raped.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

We are aware of concerns that it is difficult for women in Rwanda to secure the required sign-off by a judge and two doctors for an abortion, and that this may be driving victims of rape to seek illegal abortions.

We have been clear that Rwanda must do more to give citizens the full civil and political rights that they deserve, including through a justice system which takes into account the challenges faced by women and girls and delivers for victims of crime.

We have also been working jointly with the Government of Rwanda to deliver a robust drive against gender-based violence. I refer my noble Friend to the answer that the noble Baroness Verma gave on 20 June regarding the Department for International Development’s £4.6 million programme to empower women and girls and tackle the drivers of gender-based violence.