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Gender monitoring group to focus principally on accountability

16 March 2014

The Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group (CGPMG), which oversees implementation of the Commonwealth's ten-year gender equality plan, will focus principally on reviewing stakeholder accountability to gender equality targets during the last year of its tenure.

The Group, which was set up by Commonwealth ministers of women’s affairs in 2005 as a monitoring body, held their annual meeting on 15 March when they endorsed the findings of a Strategic Review carried out from November 2013 - February 2014. 

Members recognised that the CGPMG should provide authoritative, objective feedback to countries. This in turn will strengthen national coordinating efforts and Commonwealth-wide progress towards gender equality goals and targets.

“The Commonwealth’s gender equality plan and associated work is pivotal to ensuring that Commonwealth countries are supported in their efforts to achieve global gender goals. The monitoring group recognises the need for strengthened action during the last phase of the plan and the mechanisms are now in place to ensure this,” said Esther Eghobamien, Head of Gender at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

At their annual meeting in New York, the Group also endorsed a proposal for a technical sub-group which will work with the Commonwealth Secretariat to refine guidance and tools to assist member countries with their submissions. 

Submissions from Commonwealth member countries outline specific actions or activities that have been taken and how these have contributed to implementing the Plan of Action in their country or region.  They will be used by the technical sub-group who will assess them and provide feedback on progress.

The Group is currently made up of a rotating core of 26 members, 21 from National Women’s Machineries and five (soon to be expanded to six) civil society organisations. In New York, they agreed to retain the current membership until 2015 and to extend membership status to the Commonwealth Business Council, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Business Women’s Network, Commonwealth of Learning and Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

The Commonwealth Secretariat will explore options for a membership mechanism post-2015 for members to review and consider at the 11th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting in 2016 scheduled to be held in Samoa.