Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Region

A Strategic Plan for the CWP Africa Region was launched in 2013. This plan includes the overarching goal to establish local CWP chapters in each respective member parliament. The activities by the Africa Region are set to contribute to this goal. The CWP Steering Committee Member of the Africa Region has visited Branches in the Region to solicit support in light of its activities.

Regional Activities

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Regional Workshop focuses on knowledge building to increase women’s participation in the region
The CWP Africa Region held a Regional Capacity Building Workshop in Tanzania in January 2016. The main objective of the CWP Regional Capacity Building Workshop was to enhance the knowledge and understanding for Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, of their role in facilitating the increase of women’s participation in decision-making structures across the continent. The Workshop created the opportunity for interfacing and the sharing of experiences between Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and valuable insight was also gained from the expertise of invited resource persons. The CWP Regional event was attended by two of the CWP Steering Committee and ten national and sub-national CPA Branches were represented which were: Ghana; Kenya; Mauritius; Nigeria; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia and Gauteng and Zanzibar. 

The workshop focused on four thematic topics: Electoral Systems Candidates Support; Legal Instruments e.g. The Quota Stem; Political Party Policies; and Women and the Media. Participants heard presentations from Dr Linda Musumba, the founding Dean of Kenyatta University School of Law in Kenya and Dr Lucy Willy Massoi, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

A large number of recommendations and resolutions from the CWP Regional Workshop were adopted by Members of Parliament. The workshop was officially closed by Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP, Speaker of the Uganda Parliament and Chairperson of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) International. In her closing remarks, she thanked all the participants for their active participation and fruitful discussions in the workshop. The CWP Chairperson stated that while there was tremendous progress being made towards increasing women’s participation in decision-making structures evidenced in positive trends across the regions, various challenges still existed. The Chairperson stated that “one of the main challenges in all women’s participation initiatives is raising the awareness of male party leaders about the need to increase women’s political participation and leadership as both the right and the politically advantageous thing to do.” The Chairperson further noted that other continuing challenges included women’s lack of influence in party policy and platform development, absence or limited representation on executive bodies in parties, lack of leadership positions and the marginalization of women’s wings within parties.

7th Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Regional Conference hosted in Mauritius
The 7th Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Regional Conference was held in the margins of the 47th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Regional Conference in August 2016 in Mauritius. Delegates attended the conference from CPA Branches across the Africa Region. The CPA International Executive Committee was represented by Hon. Shirley M. Osborne MLA, Vice-Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Montserrat.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Region meet for Workshop at the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature in South Africa
The KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Women's Caucus and Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Region held a workshop in Durban, South Africa in September 2016 on the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop was a joint programme with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the operationalisation of the SDGs and the role of the CWP in playing effective oversight. The Chairperson of CWP Africa Region, Hon. Angela Thoko Didiza MP (South Africa) gave a keynote address on the topic ‘The role of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians in playing effective oversight’ to the Workshop. The following sub-themes were also covered: Transition from the MDGs to SDGs; SDGs alignment to Agenda 2063 and the National Development Plan; Parliamentarians engagement; Gender in the Local Context; Mainstreaming Gender in SDGs; Localising the SDGs; and UN system's Common Approach to Supporting Countries to Integrate the SDGs.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Rwanda Branch Steering Committee inaugurated
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) has been inaugurated in the Parliament of Rwanda and has elected a number of Members of Parliament (both Senators and Deputies) to its Steering Committee to promote the views and concerns of women Parliamentarians throughout the country. The CWP Rwanda Steering Committee is also responsible for developing programmes to further the aims of the CWP within the country, in the Africa Region and across the world. The CWP Rwanda Steering Committee is headed by a Chairperson – Senator Hon. Mukobwa Justine - deputized by two members, one in charge of policy, mobilization and strategy – Senator Hon. Mukasine Marie Claire - and the other in charge of finances – Senator Hon. Kazarwa Gertrude – with a further five Members. Upon her election as the Chairperson of the CWP Rwanda, Hon. Mukobwa Justine informed the House that she was ready to work with other Members for the good of the organisation and also assured them that her stewardship will leave no stone unturned on how best to empower women in Rwanda and Africa as a continent. The Parliament of Rwanda has one of the highest global numbers for female representation in parliament (in 2016 at 64%).

For further information about the CWP Africa region please contact the CPA Africa Region or the CPA Secretariat.

Please click on the links below to download CWP Africa Region documents.