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Nicky Morgan 'will report to the PM on women's issues'

A Downing St spokesman has clarified that the new Financial Secretary, Nicky Morgan, will report directly to David Cameron on women's issues, rather than to the new Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid.

The role of minister for women and equalities has been split, with Ms Morgan taking on the women's brief and Mr Javid handling equalities.

She will report directly to the Prime Minister on women's issues. She will have an office as Minister for Women, supported by DCMS staff. But with regard to her responsibilities for women, she will report to the Prime Minister.

Sajid Javid will have the ministerial lead on equalities issues and Nicky Morgan will have the lead on women's issues.

– Prime Minister's spokesman

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Women in combat should be 'seriously considered'

The Army should "seriously consider" lifting its ban on women serving in combat roles in line with other countries, the chief of the general staff has said.

Women are currently are allowed to serve on the front line with the artillery and as medics, engineers, intelligence officers and fighters pilots but not in close combat roles.

A paramedic attached to the British Army's Highlanders takes aim. Credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

General Sir Peter Wall told The Sunday Times the British Army is in a minority of other armies because of the rule and offering all roles to women would make it "look more normal to society".

An MoD spokesman said: "A 2010 review into women serving in combat roles concluded there should be no change to the existing policy and another review will take place before 2018."

World celebrates International Women's Day

People around the world celebrate International Women's Day, staging protests against women's rights abuses.

Activists protests against women's rights abuses Credit: Reuters

The UN writes that the day, celebrated on March 8, is an occasion to commemorate achievements in women's rights and to call for further change.

People form a female symbol to mark International Women's Day in Manila Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The celebration dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and has been observed by the United Nations since 1975.

Women's advocacy group GABRIELA staged a rally in Quezon, Philippines Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

'1.7 million fewer women' taking part in sport

1.7 million fewer women are taking part in sport than men, despite the success of female athletes in Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, according to Sport England.

Sports fans would also like to see more women's sports on TV, a report said. Credit: PA

The organisation has raised concerns women were lagging behind, as nearly 6.8 million women play sport at least once a week versus 8.5 million men.

A further 12 million women wanted to take part in more physical activity than they currently were able to, they said.

The culture, media and sport select committee is meeting to discuss how to get more women playing sport with minister for sport Helen Grant later today.

CPS: 'No doubt system was failing women and girls'

Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer said today's figures on rates of conviction for violent crimes against women and girls "sends a powerful message perpetrators."

Describing today's figures as a "result of a decade of change" and progress, he said:

There is no doubt that until recently the criminal justice system was failing women and girls. For example ten years ago, less than half the domestic violence cases that we prosecuted ended in convictions – that has gone up to three in four today.

The evidence is clear that ten years of progress is paying off and not only are the conviction rates steadily increasing, but our service to victims is also improving. These results send a powerful message to perpetrators that they are more likely than ever to be convicted for their crimes.

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Women's Aid: Too few cases reach prosecution

Polly Neate, chief executive if Women's Aid has welcomed the CPS figures on rates of conviction for cases of violence against women and girls, but stressed too few cases reach the stage of prosecution.

We welcome the increase in conviction rates for domestic and sexual violence in the past twelve months, and feel it reflects the increasing seriousness with which the CPS is addressing violence against women and girls.

There is evidence of a real commitment to improving the policies and responses of the CPS at a senior level and significant advancements have been made. However, still too few cases reach prosecution.

Effective prosecution is essential to sending a strong message to perpetrators that domestic violence is never acceptable, and helps to build confidence in the judicial system.

Rape convictions 'up to 63.2%'

The Crown Prosecution Service has achieved its highest ever rape and domestic violence conviction rates, new data shows.

  • 63.2% of rape prosecutions resulted in conviction (up from 62.
  • 74.3% of domestic violence prosecutions resulted in conviction (up from 62.5% last year)
  • 75.1% of child abuse prosecutions resulted in conviction (up from 74.3%

The figures are based on cases when the crime is handed from police to the CPS,

Record year for violence against women convictions

The number of convictions for cases of violence against woman has increased to record levels for the second year running, new research by the Crime Prosecutions Service (CPS) reveals.

The CPS says rates of conviction for rape and violence against women are going up. Credit: Press Association

Overall this year, three out of four cases resulted in a conviction. Conviction rates also went up in cases of domestic violence, rape and other sexual offences, forced marriage, honour based violence, child abuse and human trafficking, according to the CPS.

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