Women Leaders Event: A Call for Action – Safeguarding the Well-being of Women and Children

Event date: 15 November 2023, 10:00 - 16:30
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, speaking at an event on ending domestic violence against women and girls

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, will host a high-level event in London on 15 November 2023 to address the urgent issue of safeguarding women and children from domestic violence.

The event will focus on the prevalence of domestic violence and its effects on the physical and mental health of women and children, and the ability to affect positive change in hard-to-reach populations across the Commonwealth.

Globally, one in three women experience domestic violence within their lifetime. Studies reveal a strong link between child abuse and intimate partner violence, with 40-70 per cent of children entering shelters having experienced abuse themselves. These children are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, such as depression.

Against this backdrop, the event will feature three panel discussions, each examining the causes, consequences and solutions related to a range of critical issues, including the mental well-being of women and children affected by domestic violence, safety measures for households and integrated care services for survivors of sexual abuse.

Towards the end, Her Majesty The Queen will join the event to receive a report on the outcomes from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chair and panel moderators, before joining guests for a reception.

Speakers include:

  • The Rt Honourable Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
  • Her Excellency Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of Sierra Leone
  • Her Excellency Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, First Lady of The Gambia
  • HE Maryam Mwinyi, First Lady of Zanzibar
  • Her Excellency Saima Wazed, Chairperson, Shuchona Foundation, and Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization on Mental Health and Autism, Bangladesh
  • Lady Dentaa Amoateng MBE, Entrepreneur, Actress, Television Presenter, Singer, Producer and Manager (Chair), United Kingdom
  • Jane Randel, Chair, NO MORE Foundation
  • Dr Erin Kenney, Director, Lead for Gender, Equity and Human Rights, World Health Organization, Switzerland
  • Jude Kelly CBE, Founder and Chair, WOW Foundation, United Kingdom
  • Janet Charles, Acting High Commissioner, High Commission, Commonwealth of Dominica

This is an invitation-only event. For further information, please contact [email protected]

Media contact

  • Snober Abbasi  Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +442077476168  |  E-mail