Commonwealth Women’s Forum 2018
CWP workshop session

The 2018 Commonwealth Women's Forum will reflect on some of the global challenges still faced by women, as part of a wider commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in the Commonwealth journey to achieving gender equality by 2030. The Commonwealth Women's Forum will draw international delegates from the Commonwealth and globally to highlight women's positive political, economic and societal contributions and establish how women and girls will be key to building sustainable and resilient societies.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 is highlighted most clearly in the work undertaken by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in its mission for greater representation of women in Legislatures.  As part of this body of work the CWP will deliver a session at the Commonwealth Women’s Forum titled ‘Women’s Political Participation at All Levels’ on Monday 16 April 2018 (see programme below). Political leadership is central to SDG 5 and within it, target 5.5 to “Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life” which underpins the work of the CWP and CPA in supporting women in political leadership. Many women play an active role in community leadership and often develop their critical leadership skills through non-political advocacy roles at community level. The lack of easily accessible support and often limited female role models within politics at a local and national level often inhibit women in making the transition into formal politics.  

The workshop session, in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the CPA UK Branch, takes place as part of the wider Commonwealth Women’s Forum which will feed into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) 2018 taking place later the same week. The first Commonwealth Women's Forum (CWF) was held in Malta in the lead up to the November 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) as a response to a proposal from the 10th meeting of the Commonwealth Women's Affairs Meeting of 2013.

Women’s Political Participation at All Levels
Monday 16 April 2018 - 15:30-17:00 

Guest Speakers:
• Rt Hon. Helen Clark - Former New Zealand Prime Minister and UNDP Administrator, and current Patron of CLGF
• Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara – Mayor of Makeni, Sierra Leone
• Professor Sarah Childs - Professor of Politics and Gender at Birkbeck University and Director of the Centre for the Study of British Politics & Public Life

Guest Panellists:
• Hon Councillor Buumba Malambo - Magoba ward, Kafue District, Zambia
• Hon. Angela Thoko Didiza, MP – Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Regional Chairperson
• Councillor Bev Esslinger - Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Standing Committee on International Relations  
• Hon. Maria Browne MP - Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Renewal, Antigua and Barbuda

Join the conversation on Twitter @CPA_Secretariat and

To view the video of the workshop session please click here or on the video below.

For more information about the wider programme and different sessions at the Commonwealth Women’s Forum 2018 please click here.

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.The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (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. 

Updated Friday 6 April 2018.