International community explores women’s political empowerment at Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting

Participants at the workshop
Participants at the workshop

On Tuesday, November 24, meeting in advance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, representatives from many sectors – politics, academia, civil society and the public and private sectors – convened to seek solutions to women’s under-representation at all levels of women in decision-making.

Discussions took place in a workshop co-hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the Commonwealth Secretariat as part of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum.

Closing the workshop, Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the UK Department for International Development, called for women’s full and effective participation in political life: ‘Where women have no voice, societies under achieve’. Other discussion leaders included Rt Hon. Fiona Mactaggart MP (UK), Alison Zerafa, Mayor of Cospicua (Malta), Ms Renee Laiviera, National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, Malta, Peggy Tagalloatele Fairbain-Dunlop, Auckland University of Technology, and Hon. Margaret Wilson, Professor of Law and Public Policy and formerly New Zealand’s first female Speaker.

Participants of the half-day workshop spoke to four main levels:
-Individual woman
-Women collectively – including through participation in Civil Society
-Political parties
-Institutions including local government, parliaments, governments and global governance frameworks

In an interactive and dynamic forum, participants stressed the importance of mentoring, ‘Look within what you do and ask where you can offer mentoring opportunities’; legislative frameworks, ‘Do some legislating not just persuading’; and that empowering women is an ongoing process ‘You can’t repeat too much, you’ve just got to do it differently.’

The Workshop took place as part of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum, at which participants called on member governments to meet a 50 per cent target for women in leadership across political and public life, and in the private sector. Taking place for the first time in Malta, the Women’s Forum was organised by the Government of Malta and the Commonwealth Secretariat against a global backdrop of ongoing gender discrimination, despite efforts to change the status of women in government and business.

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  1. dissident
    November 25, 2015

    This article better not be trying to win sympathy for Patricia Scotland Mohine.
    The Botswana candidate is a highly qualified renowned in her area of expertise.
    I would still support the female candidate from Botswana over Patricia Scotland Mohine.
    I would never drag my country good name like this.
    The baroness lacks true Dominican and on a broader basis she lacks carribbean statesmanship
    Scotland has caused PM Skerrit to effectively divide our fragile union.
    I have very little hopes for CARICOM ambitions for our group of nations.
    Skerrit and Francine have effectively railroaded alot of our democratic achievements.
    This is unbelievable!!!
    If Skerrit no longer has interest in his highly responsible position he should resign.
    I see it on his face and i hear it in his voice.
    This thing is really getting to him and upsetting his personal ambitions!
    What do we gain from all this Baroness Scotland!
    Is this true statesmanship!!??

    • who vex vex
      November 25, 2015

      The same way you know Patricia background i hope you know the other female`s own..

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