Women’s affairs ministers will meet virtually on 10 May to review and strengthen action on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be the first meeting of the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Action Group, which reviews the impact of the pandemic on women and girls, provides advice on emerging gender issues and makes strategic recommendations to the Secretariat.
The creation of the action group was requested by Commonwealth women’s affairs ministers following their triennial meeting in Nairobi in 2019.
Across every sphere, the pandemic is worsening prospects for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex. More women than men are at risk of losing jobs, domestic violence has risen rapidly under lockdowns and an additional 11 million girls may leave school by the end of the crisis.
Ministers will, therefore, discuss Commonwealth priorities including women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence with a view that recovery and rebuilding efforts reach and uplift every Commonwealth citizen.
Prof Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary for Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender, will preside over the meeting in her capacity as the current chair of the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting.
In the run-up to the meeting, senior officials for the ministers will gather on 5 May to discuss the set-up of the action group and receive an update on the Secretariat’s programme work.
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