Home >Gender
  • Women in leadership

    Women’s access to decision-making in the political, public and private sectors is essential to achieving gender equality. 

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  • Women’s economic empowerment

    The approach of gender-inclusive growth is multi-faceted and requires the ending of discriminatory norms that deny women access to credit and financial services and keep them economically disempowered. 

  • Ending violence against women and girls

    Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations, having a detrimental impact on the rights of women and girls to non-discrimination, equal protection before the law and equality before the law.

  • Gender and climate change

    Different genders experience climate change and disasters differently.  Women and children are more likely to die, injured or be displaced by disasters, many exacerbated by climate change. 


We work to advance gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment in all social, economic and political spheres.

We provide technical assistance to member countries to support skills training and capacity building initiatives, monitoring and evaluation and high level advocacy, research and knowledge generation and lead the way for building consensus on key global priorities for gender equality for the Commonwealth. 

Our work centers on key aspects of human development towards the achievement of the Commonwealth’s priorities on gender equality: (i) women in leadership; (ii) women’s economic empowerment; (iii) ending violence against women and girls; and (iv) gender and climate change; the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and global, regional and national commitments on gender equality and overall empowerment of women.

There are three inter-linked functions to our gender work:

  1. Promoting women’s rights and gender equality in Commonwealth countries through advocacy, policy advice, capacity building, and technical assistance.
  2. Convening policy dialogue and consensus building through triennial meetings of Commonwealth Ministers responsible for Women’s Affairs, annual meetings of Commonwealth Women’s National Machineries and the Commonwealth Women’s Forum.
  3. Leading and coordinating policies, systems and mechanisms for effective gender mainstreaming. 

Key documents

Commonwealth Women's Forum CHOGM 2018
The Commonwealth Women's Forum (CWF) is held at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM), with the first having taken place at Malta. The theme for the 2018 CWF was "An empowered future for women and girls".

Commonwealth Women's Forum 2018 Report

The hidden pandemic alongside COVID-19 Worried girl looking down on bench

As economies, institutions and social welfare sectors continue to buckle under the strain of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic crisis, there is a dangerous escalation in the risk to the millions of people caught in the clutches of domestic and gender-based violence. 

Commonwealth teams up with 'NO MORE’ initiative to reduce violence against women and girls Commonwealth Secretary General announcing Commonwealth Says NO MORE

The Commonwealth has announced a new partnership designed to reduce domestic violence in member countries. Today, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland signed a memorandum of understanding with the NO MORE Foundation which is a global movement of 1,400 allied organisations and 40 international chapters working together to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

‘We must close gender gap in education,’ Deputy Secretary-General tells Commonwealth Fair gathering Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Fair

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Dr Arjoon Suddhoo has said more must be done to address the fact that women account for two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population.

Women in politics unite to establish Inter-Party Gender Action Group(IGAG) in Malawi Participant speaking at workshop in Malawi

The Commonwealth has partnered-up with the Malawi Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD-M) for a workshop designed to advance women’s political party leadership, strategy, advocacy and engagement.

Malawi women reflect on political advancement Women voting in Malawi elections

Malawian women in politics have been taking stock of their success in the May elections and brainstorming how to gain an even greater say in the running of their country.

Commonwealth panel calls for data-driven approach to prevent gender-based killings Delegates at the Commonwealth Human Rights Unit's panel discussion

The Commonwealth has called on its member countries to collect and share data of victims of gender-based killings.