International Women’s Day 2015

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) was represented by Eleanor Laing MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, UK at an event to mark International Women’s Day at the Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House on 6 March 2015.

Each year, the Commonwealth commemorates International Women’s Day and this year, the theme was Equality for Women in Progress for All’. The event focussed on Commonwealth achievements of the MDGs and progress made in the areas of economic, political and social development for women and highlighted Commonwealth gender priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

Deputy Speaker Laing talked about the importance of women’s representation in legislatures across the Commonwealth, but stated that now, legislatures must go beyond numbers and ensure that each female parliamentarian uses their voice and political platform to champion women’s rights.

Reiterating the importance of girls’ education, she urged all Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians to protect the rights of girls to quality education and equal economic opportunities. Deputy Speaker Laing stressed the importance of male parliamentarians’ commitment to the gender agenda and cited the International Development Gender Equality Act passed in the UK House of Commons by her colleague Sir William Cash MP as an example of a gender responsive commitment to development.