Commonwealth Women's Forum 2022

Event date: 20 June 2022, 9:00 - 21 June 2022, 17:00 BST
CWF 2022 logo

The Commonwealth Women's Forum (CWF 2022), which is held in parallel with the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), took place in Kigali, Rwanda between 20-21 June 2022.

Delegates at the Commonwealth Women's Forum discussed solutions to address pressing challenges affecting women and girls across the Commonwealth and to ensure member countries have robust policies and programmes to meet gender equality targets by 2030.

Proposed solutions from the two-day forum at CHOGM will inform Commonwealth leaders’ discussions and decisions on ending gender inequality – ultimately involving women at the highest level of policymaking to address challenges directly affecting them.

 

Press releases

Links for livestreams and recordings are available below.

 


 

Monday 20 June

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9am - 10.30am: Opening Session

The Commonwealth Women’s Forum will officially begin with a plenary reflecting on gender equality, Welcome Remarks, a young speaker highlighting opportunities in the Commonwealth, and Opening Remarks from a Guest of Honour.

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11am - 12.30pm: Women in Leadership: Beyond Numbers

What is meaningful leadership, and what does it look like? In considering this question, pioneers who have advanced gender equality across the Commonwealth are invited to show not only that they have achieved high levels of women’s representation in decision making, but that this increased representation has led to real and lasting change for the betterment of society.

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1.30pm - 3pm: Women’s Economic Empowerment: Breaking Barriers

This session considers the challenges affecting women’s economic empowerment, and opportunities for their full and equal participation in economic life. It examines the hurdles women face in trade and entrepreneurship and will devise key entry points that might to clear the way for greater and sustainable economic empowerment.

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3.30pm - 5.30pm: Parallel sessions

  • Engaging Men and Boys: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

The session looks at programmes dedicated to engaging men and boys as agents of positive change and examines the critical role data plays in understanding violence against women and girls (VAWG) and its wider impacts. It will provide a platform to present the Secretariat’s project on the Economic Cost of VAWG (EconVAWG) which utilises a new framework that determines the economic cost of VAWG for various sectors in the economy and the state.

  • Intergenerational Celebration

This session will highlight the recognition and celebration of the contributions and diversity of women and girls of all ages, including older women. The session will explore the multiple and intersecting forms of inequalities and discrimination that can be exacerbated in later life and how best to overcome these challenges. Speakers from across the Commonwealth with a background in aged care and civil society organisations will discuss the responsibility for recognising the role that women of all ages can play in community development.

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Tuesday 21 June

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9am - 11am: Gender and Climate Change: Interactions and Opportunities for Progress 

This session will be a platform to highlight the role and contribution of women in ensuring successful climate change resilience. It is necessary to include and promote women as vital change-makers and ensure their seat at the policy and decision-making table. With several Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable territories - including cities, home to large informal communities - in the Commonwealth already feeling the harsh effects of climate change and other disaster risks, all sectors of society must be united in protecting the diverse communities of the Commonwealth family.

11.30am - 1.30pm: Parallel sessions – Addressing the barriers to gender equality and Women Empowerment

  • Accountability for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

This session examines the progress that Commonwealth member countries have made in establishing domestic accountability mechanisms pertaining to gender equality and women empowerment. It will consider how governments have participated in existing international accountability mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review, highlight innovative Commonwealth best practice in promoting government accountability including with respect to the need to address gender-disaggregated data gaps, and providing concrete recommendations for the development of accountability mechanisms for gender equality.

  • Human Capital Development: Building Girls Leaders of Tomorrow

By exploring the global challenge brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, this session will highlight how digital technologies continue to impact human capital development. Speakers from diverse sectors will discuss the positive and negative lessons learnt across the Commonwealth from the impact of COVID-19 on the ability of women to work, progress in their careers, access education, use coping mechanisms, and address the skills necessary for women to be well positioned in an increasingly digital economy.

2.30pm - 4pm: Parallel sessions

  • Peace in the Commonwealth: Women’s Engagement in Peace and Security

This session will be a platform to explore the question of what can be done to enable more meaningful women’s participation in peace and security and how the aspirations of UNSCR 1325 can be more fully realised across the Commonwealth and the world, with an emphasis on transformative conditions that can enable women’s meaningful participation. With speakers drawn from the sectors of peace mediation, military and security institutions and peace programming, this session will provide a forum to explore what practical measures can be taken to enable greater and more meaningful participation of women in peace and security.

  • Conquering Cervical Cancer in the Commonwealth: Realities, Challenges and Opportunities  

Speakers from both medical and civil society backgrounds will discuss the importance of prioritising cervical cancer elimination and the challenges the Commonwealth faces with cervical cancer. The Commonwealth accounts for approximately 40% of global cervical cancer incidence and 43% of cervical cancer mortality. The outcome of this discussion will form part of important pre-CHOGM policy recommendations and will build up on the Heads of Government commitments in addressing the rising burden of non-communicable diseases.

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4.30pm - 5.30pm: Outcomes of Commonwealth Women’s Forum and Closing Remarks

 

Download the Commonwealth Women's Forum 2018 Report

Learn more about the Commonwealth's gender work

Contact the Commonwealth Gender team

View full events schedule on the CHOGM 2022 page

 



Media contact

  • Jennifer Woodside  Head of Media Relations Media and Public Affairs, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • M. +44 7894 593508  |  E-mail