A group of 25 people will be attending a workshop on Friday 7 July to discuss the findings of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s studies on women’s political participation in the Commonwealth. They range from civil society expert and election management bodies, to parliamentarians, UN Women representatives, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Commonwealth organisations.
The day-long event will look at how the Commonwealth can support women leaders, parliamentarians and other stakeholders into politics. Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Dr Josephine Ojiambo will be one of the key speakers at the event.
Yvonne Apea Mensah, adviser and head of the Africa unit at the Commonwealth said, “I’m delighted that such a diverse group of women will be attending and using their wide range of expertise to address some of the socio-economic and cultural barriers that prevent many women from participating in the political sphere.
“These events are an opportunity to discuss the findings of our in-depth reports and identify the practical solutions that are required to enable more women to access politics, and achieve gender equality by 2030.”
On the same day in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, a second workshop will be held to discuss these issues. Speakers include the president of the Senate, Barbados House of Assembly, and the former prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis.
Dr Tres-Ann Kremer, political adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat said, “While more women in the Caribbean are getting into decision-making positions in the public sector, there is still a concerning lack of representation in parliaments. Delegates will discuss the factors affecting women’s political participation, including legislative reforms, campaign financing policies and violence against women.
“The outcomes of these discussions will inform and guide concrete policy recommendations as the Commonwealth looks towards the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will be held in London in April 2018.”