Newly elected Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chairperson pledges to increase women’s representation and political participation in Parliaments  

The newly elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA of the National Assembly of Pakistan has pledged to renew the effort to increase women’s representation and political participation in Parliaments across the Commonwealth. The new Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians was elected for a three-year term at the CWP Business Meeting held at the sixth triennial conference of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), that took place in Kampala, Uganda as part of the wider 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
 
Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA is a Member of National Assembly of Pakistan and Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. A qualified legal professional with extensive knowledge and experience in international trade and economic law advocacy and an articulate communicator, fluent in three languages, she was elected to the National Assembly in August 2018. As an activist, she has worked on economic rehabilitation of abandoned post-incarceration females and providing opportunities for their families; developing training and legislation for female lawyers; as well as advising NGOs to better understand societal problems. She has authored various articles on a number of issues, including the creation of Pakistan’s first IP strategic framework, the industrial policy vacuum and has conducted many training seminars on various aspects of international trade policy and development.

The outgoing Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians is Hon. Dr Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP (Malaysia) who has held the office since her election in 2016. Hon. Dr Dato’ Noraini Ahmad has worked tirelessly in promoting inter-regional cooperation among members of the CWP and launched a new CWP strategic plan, which has led to many new activities, geared towards the strengthening of Women Parliamentarians and increasing women’s representation across the CPA’s nine regions.

The newly elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (Designate), Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan was congratulated by the outgoing Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Hon. Dr Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP (Malaysia); the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon; Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda and former CWP Chairperson as well as all of the former CWP Chairpersons attending the business meeting.

At the CWP Steering Committee meeting held immediately after the election, the Members of the Steering Committee also elected Hon. Zainab Gimba, MP (Nigeria), CWP Africa Region Chairperson as the CWP Vice-Chairperson.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan said: “I congratulate Hon. Dr Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP, outgoing Chairperson of the CWP for the important achievements she has made during her term in office. On behalf of the entire CPA membership, we are incredibly grateful to her for her leadership over the past three years. I very much look forward to working with Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA of the National Assembly of Pakistan, the new CWP Chairperson during the next three years and wish her all the very best in this important role.”  

Under CPA election rules only female delegates to the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and CWP Steering Committee Members could take part in the vote to elect a new CWP Chairperson. There were three candidates for the position of CWP Chairperson: Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan); Hon. Michelle O’Byrne, MP (Tasmania who later withdrew her candidature); and Hon. Tara Rivers, JP, MLA (Cayman Islands).

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) is the network of women Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Parliament and Legislatures. The CWP network provides a means of building the capacity of women elected to parliament to be more effective in their roles; improving the awareness and ability of all Parliamentarians, male and female, and encouraging them to include a gender perspective in all aspects of their role - legislation, oversight and representation and helping parliaments to become gender-sensitive institutions
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Information about the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) can be found at the official conference website www.cpc2019.org and for further updates please visit the CPA website www.cpahq.org/cpahq/cpc2019.

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Images available at www.cpahq.org/cpahq/flickr

ENDS

Sixth triennial Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Conference, 23-24 September 2019, Kampala, Uganda #64CPC2019
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Conference takes place every three years in the margins of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. This CWP Conference took place ahead of the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Kampala, Uganda hosted by the CPA Uganda Branch and the Parliament of Uganda. 

Updated 24 September 2019.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
 
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