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Event: Virtual Workshop on Women's Parliamentary and Transformational Leadership

Date: 21-22 June 2021, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM BST

This two-day interactive workshop is part of the Commonwealth Secretariat's efforts to foster virtual dialogue through its Inclusive Dialogue and Women's Political Participation webinar series.

The final theme “Women's Parliamentary and Transformational leadership” will look at how women in the Commonwealth, and beyond, face diverse barriers to entry into politics, election into parliaments, and ascendency to parliamentary leadership positions.

Women disproportionately burdened

During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been disproportionately burdened with the economic implications of unequal recovery, along with the dramatic impact of the ‘shadow pandemic’, further impacting their ability to fully participate effectively in parliamentary affairs. 

The Commonwealth's transformational leadership capacity-building approach will focus on building and supporting a critical mass of confident, politically smart and savvy women who would not only navigate their paths to effective leadership but also serve as influencers and champions of accountability for gender-responsive legislation policies, governance and development processes.

Day 1 - Women's Parliamentary Leadership and Retention Panel

This session will reflect on women's parliamentary representation in the Commonwealth with a specific focus on leadership and retention in parliaments. The session will also reflect critically on gender-sensitive parliaments and the role of men and political institutions in fostering women’s parliamentary leadership. This panel discussion session will be led in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.: 

Panel 1- Barriers to Women’s Representation & Effective Leadership

  • Moderator: Hon. CWP Chairperson, Shandana Gulzar, MNA (Pakistan)
  • Speakers:
    • Stephen Twigg, SecretaryGeneral, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
    • Smt. Sunita Duggal MP (India)
    • Hon. Lisa Thompson MPP, Ontario (Canada)
    • Professor Sarah Childs

Panel 2- Retention, Relevance and Equity Strategies

  • Moderator: Hon. Zainab Gimba (Nigeria)
  • Speakers:
    • The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, Commonwealth (TBD)
    • Hon. Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli MNA (South Africa)
    • Hon. Munaza Hassan MNA (Pakistan)
    • Hon. Samantha Sacramento MP (Gibraltar)

Day 2 - Women's Transformational Leadership Skill-Building Session 

Building on day one, this session will focus on how women's transformational leadership skills and agencies can be built and deployed to influence gender-responsive legislation and equity policies, governance frameworks, and development processes in the Commonwealth. The session aims to deepen participants' understanding and appreciation of transformational leadership traits and outcomes.