Newly elected Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chairperson pledges to increase women’s political participation  

The newly elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia) has pledged to renew the effort to increase women’s political participation across the Commonwealth.

The new Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians was elected for a three-year term at CWP Business Meeting at the fifth triennial conference of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), that took place in London, United Kingdom as part of the wider 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.

The new Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP is a Member of Parliament from Malaysia whose political career began in 2000 as the Secretary-General of the Young Women’s Wing who was later elected to lead the movement in 2004. Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2008, representing the constituency of Parit Sulong. She has served as Deputy Minister of the Human Resource Ministry and is currently the Chair of Malaysian Trade Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). In the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP was a Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Steering Committee Member until 2013 and is currently the CPA South East Asia Regional Representative on the CPA International Executive Committee.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan said: “I congratulate Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga 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. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia), the new CWP Chairperson during the next three years and wish her all the very best in this important role.”

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.

The outgoing Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians is Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda who has held the office since her election in 2013. Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP has worked tirelessly in promoting inter-regional cooperation among members of the CWP. She has established a CWP strategy, which has led to many activities, geared towards the strengthening of Women Parliamentarians across the CPA’s nine regions; and has convened this week women parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth to discuss the key issue of ‘Political Violence Against Women’.

Under CPA election rules only female delegates to the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference could take part in the vote to elect a new CWP Chairperson. There were four candidates for the position of CWP Chairperson: Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia); Hon. Linda Reid MLA (British Columbia, Canada); Joyce Watson AM (Wales); Hon. Poto Williams MP (New Zealand). 

Following the election of the new Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), the Steering Committee of the CWP representing all nine regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) met to elect Hon. Poto Williams MP (New Zealand) as the new Vice Chairperson for the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP).

The new Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia) was congratulated by three former CWP Chairpersons - Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP (Uganda), Hon. Alix Boyd Knights MHA (Dominica) and Hon. Lindiwe Maseko, MP (South Africa).

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Published on Tuesday 20th December 2016.


Notes to Editors

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) was founded in 1989 to increase the number of female elected representatives in Parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth and to ensure that women’s issues are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and legislation.

62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, 11-17 December 2016, London, United Kingdom
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference will take place from 11-17 December 2016 (inclusive of arrival and departure days) in London, United Kingdom, hosted the CPA Secretariat.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 105th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences, Regional Conferences and other symposiums; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments; and the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre. 

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