US unveils $55M plan to bolster legal protection of African women in G8 run-up

US unveils $55M plan to bolster legal protection of African women in G8 run-up

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush unveiled a $55 million initiative "to support women's justice and empowerment in Africa" at the White House Thursday. The stated goals of the plan [White House fact sheet], part of a larger $400 million committment to aiding Africa announced in advance of the upcoming G8 summit [official website] focused on Africa [G8 issue backgrounder] and implementation of the UN's Millenium Development Goals [official website], are to" strengthen the capacity of the legal system to protect women and punish violators by training police, prosecutors, and judges in sexual violence and abuse cases against women, and developing or strengthening laws which protect women and empower their role in society" while addressing the various needs of women who have already become victims of abuse and violence. In his remarks [text] Thursday the President talked about the need to "give more girls in Africa a real chance to avoid exploitation and to chart their own future." AFP has more.