UK sanctions 'global violators of women's rights'

Cabinet meeting in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Wednesday announced a package of sanctions against what they described as 'global violators of women's rights' based in Iran, Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

The asset freezes and travel bans were introduced on International Women's Day, applying to four individuals, including military figures accused of overseeing rape. An Iranian government institution was also sanctioned.

"These sanctions send a clear message that the perpetrators of abhorrent gender-based violence must be held accountable," foreign minister James Cleverly said in an emailed statement.

"We are increasing our efforts to stand up for women and girls, and will use all the tools at our disposal to tackle the inequalities which remain."

The sanctions came alongside the publication of the government's 'Women and Girls Strategy' setting out their plans to tackle gender inequality worldwide.

(Reporting by William James, writing by Sachin Ravikumar)