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  • New book will help East African judges handle cases of violence against women

    A new Commonwealth handbook will help East African judicial officers proactively handle cases of violence against women and girls (VAWG), which affects up to one in three women in their lifetime.

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Social development

Our approach to social development focuses on giving people a voice in their lives and communities. We empower people by helping create unified, strong, inclusive and accountable institutions. 

We work to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and to promote lifelong learning opportunities.

We advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in Commonwealth countries and work with National Women’s Machineries to support the social, political and economic empowerment of women and the advancement of women’s rights.

Partnering with member governments, private businesses and civil society organisations helps us support and strengthen health institutions in Commonwealth countries. We focus on issues of growing international concern, such as the threat of non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health and achieving universal health coverage.

We help unlock the potential of small states to withstand natural disasters and economic challenges through powerful partnerships and meaningful assistance. We develop, support and convene partnerships and initiatives to help people change consumption patterns so the environmental impact on small states is minimised.

We support and empower young people to realise and reach their full potential. Our Youth Programme has been supporting member countries for over 40 years: engaging and recognising young people, supporting governments and professionalising youth work.

Work on eSwatini’s human rights laws goes on with Commonwealth support Group shot of eSwatini Commission on Human Rights and Public Administration

Continuing Commonwealth support is being provided in eSwatini to help ensure the country’s national human rights institution meets international standards.

LGBTI+ communities face equality and inclusion challenges during Covid-19 Speakers at the Commonwealth event commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)

Acute challenges faced by LGBTI+ people must be addressed as part of an inclusive approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commonwealth Secretary-General visits Uttar Pradesh Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland with a group of people at a school with children in India

On her visit to India, the Commonwealth Secretary-General travelled to the city of Gorakhpur in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. She took part in the launch of the Out of School Children Project, and attended the country’s first ever Sustainable Development Goals Choupal.

Caribbean disability conference: ‘we are an opportunity, not a burden’ Woman in wheelchair celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities

At a conference in Antigua this week, disability rights’ advocates said that they don’t want special favours. Instead, they are calling for their basic human rights to be respected, protected and fulfilled. The second ‘I Am Able’ conference brought together more than 120 delegates from governments, charities, donor agencies and disabled people’s organisations from the eastern Caribbean.

Health officials urge action amidst rising cancer cases in Commonwealth delegates at London Global Cancer Week

Leading health officials are calling for urgent action to reduce the number of cancer cases in the Commonwealth, which are above global averages.

Question of Identity? Bangladesh approaches 50 years of independence Delegates at the event

The Commonwealth’s Countering Violent Extremism Unit has launched a project to explore what it means to be a young Bangladeshi, as the country approaches 50 years of independence.