International Women’s Day 2021: Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians highlight gender equality and women’s representation in Parliaments #ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) marked International Women’s Day 2021 by highlighting the importance of gender equality and the urgent need to increase women’s representation in Parliaments. International Women's Day (8th March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, with the theme of International Women's Day this year calling for a more gender-balanced world and the difference individuals can make. 

#ChooseToChallenge called for everyone to challenge for change and to forge a gender equal world that celebrates women's achievement and raises awareness against bias. 

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network undertook a wide range of events and activities. You can read the CWP news story by clicking here.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan) published a #ChoosetoChallenge video message. To watch the message click here or view below.

The CWP network also released a series of short videos online and on social media, offering an insight into the life of women Parliamentarians and their efforts to facilitate the empowerment of women at every level of society. Women MPs featured from CPA Nigeria; India; Ontario, Canada; Pakistan; St Lucia; Cook Islands and Malaysia. View the videos below or to view the video playlist click here or visit

CWP Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Zainab Gimba, MP from Nigeria on the impact of violence in her constituency on women. #IWD2021​ #ChoosetoChallenge

Hon. Alice Lau Kiong Yieng, MP (Malaysia) continues our video series on life as a Commonwealth #WomeninParliament​ by calling women Parliamentarians to action ahead of #InternationalWomensDay

St Lucia Senate President, Hon. Jeannine Giraudy-McIntyre
on the many disadvantages that women face compared to men. #ChoosetoChallenge

Next in our video series on life as a Commonwealth #WomeninParliament​, Hon. Sunita Duggal MP (India) shares how, as the only woman Parliamentarian from Haryana State, she will #ChoosetoChallenge​ with ‘resilience, strength and courage’ to achieve gender equality.

Hon. Selina Napa (Cook Islands) continues #CommonwealthDay​ and #IWD2021​ celebrations as she gives us insight into how she commits herself to supporting the needs of her constituents in our video series on life as a Commonwealth #WomeninParliament​   

Hon. Lisa Thompson MPP (Ontario) marks #CommonwealthDay​ and #IWD2021​ celebrations as she gives us an insight into her activities as a Woman in Parliament and honours the legacy of others as part of our video series on life as a Commonwealth #WomeninParliament​ 

Hon. Kanwal Shauzab, MNA (Pakistan) continues #CommonwealthDay​ and #InternationalWomensDay​ celebrations as she calls on Parliamentarians to lead collective action for #GenderEquality​ and the #GlobalGoals

Hon. Dr Noraini Ahmad, MP from Malaysia (former #Commonwealth​ Women Parliamentarians Chairperson) reflects on the impact and successful contributions of women in Malaysia in both parliament and society.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians from the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region also shared a video message for International Women's Day on the theme of #ChooseToChallenge with Members from Guernsey, United Kingdom, Scotland, Cyprus and Wales.


The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) is the network of women Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Parliaments and Legislatures and the network is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. 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 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. 

Updated 15 March 2021/CPAHQ.