Commonwealth Secretary-General accelerates work to empower women

14 July 2016

Patricia Scotland convenes the first Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit to start work on the Secretariat’s Gender Equality Framework 2020.


Commonwealth Leaders' Summit

CW Womens Summit_Silverfish_Social Media_Jude Kelly_14th June 2016


The Commonwealth Secretary-General has pledged to be a champion for women and girls, stating that the fight for gender equality is central to delivering global goals on development, governance and climate change.

Patricia Scotland convened the first Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit on Thursday 14 July to start work on the Secretariat’s Gender Equality Framework 2020.

The event brings together female leaders from all parts of the Commonwealth to discuss the road map to 2020 and include the three specific subject areas:

  • Violence Against Women and Girls,
  • Women in Leadership and
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, said:
“I am proud to be the first female Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and I want to mark this ‘first’ by bringing together key women leaders from across the Commonwealth to think about how the Commonwealth can better deliver for women and girls.

“I want to re-invigorate the Commonwealth’s commitments on gender equality and the global goals. This will be the first of a series of meetings we will hold together as women leaders of the Commonwealth.”

Women leaders in government, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth will participate in the event.  Kiran Bedi, social activist, tennis champion and first woman to join the Indian Police Service, will deliver the keynote address.

The Secretary-General is pleased with the support her initiative has received: “As 53 diverse nations with a population of some 2.3 billion people the Commonwealth is full of potential to change the world for women and I’m grateful that so many talented women will join me to be a part of that.”

The meeting is the first in a series of events to prepare for September’s Commonwealth Woman’s Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Samoa and the United Nations General Assembly in New York before the publication of the Commonwealth’s Gender Equality Framework in 2017.