Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians in South East Asia Region renew their commitment to women’s rights at the Parliament of Malaysia  

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians from the South East Asia Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) have renewed their commitment to women’s rights at a conference on Women’s Political Leadership at the Parliament of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, held on 18 and 19 February 2019. The #WomenWhoLead conference brought together over 100 political and civil society leaders and influencers from across the region and the wider Commonwealth to share inspiration and insights around the myths that prevent positive change for women’s rights. Leading voices from Malaysia attended the conference to discuss the barriers to women’s participation in politics.

The two-day conference was held under the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D), an initiative to advance inclusive and accountable democracy across 18 Commonwealth countries that brings together the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

Malaysia Women’s Minister, Hon. Hannah Yeoh, MP said that government offices and the Parliament building itself would be supplied with childcare facilities as a direct action to assist women in leadership and she pledged to: “fight for supporting infrastructure to keep women in politics and in the workforce.”

The Speaker of the Malaysian Parliament, Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof also attended the conference and pledged to: “give his full support to gender equalisation.”

Speaking at the conference, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Malaysia, Richard Graham, MP said: “This conference is a great opportunity to continue progress made on gender equality and women’s contribution in Malaysian democracy.”

Rushanara Ali, MP (United Kingdom) also attended the conference and said: “There is so much to celebrate in women rising to leadership positions in Malaysia but there is so much more to do. The Malaysian government has clearly shown today their commitment to getting more women leaders to the top and I wish them every success in their endeavours.”

The Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) project is committed to improving women’s empowerment around the world and conferences are being held to enable emerging women leaders to further develop their skills in a supportive environment through networks like the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and the Commonwealth Women in Local Government.

Main photo: Over 100 participants gather for historic #womenwholead summit in Parliament of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, February 2019.

Updated 3 April 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. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
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