International Women’s Day 2020: Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians highlight gender equality and women’s representation in Parliaments #EachForEqual

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) are marking International Women’s Day 2020 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 2020 calling for a more gender-balanced world and the difference individuals can make - #EachForEqual.

To mark International Women’s Day 2020, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan (Pakistan) released a video message online in which she highlights the CWP’s work in women’s representation across the Commonwealth and representing women’s voices in Commonwealth Parliaments. To view the CWP Chairperson’s video message please click here or see below:

The CWP also released their annual review to coincide with International Women’s Day which provides a review of CWP activities across the Commonwealth during the past 12 months. Click here to access the CWP report.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians across the nine regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association celebrated International Women’s Day 2020 with a wide range of events and activities. For example, ahead of International Women’s Day 2020, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) New Zealand Joint Chairs, Louisa Wall, MP and Jo Hayes, MP launched the newly refurbished Women's Suffrage Room at the Parliament of New Zealand at an event attended by the New Zealand Prime Minister, Rt Hon, Jacinda Arden, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Anne Tolley MP and the CWP Alumni Champion, Dr Lesley Clarke. To view a video about the CWP Pacific event please click here or see below.

The CWP Jersey Branch Chair, Deputy Jess Perchard hosted an International Women’s Day event with Parliamentarians and local women’s organisations on the theme of 'changing the narrative'.

In addition, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians British Islands and Mediterranean Region issued a joint statement ahead of International Women’s Day 2020 condemning gender-based violence and committing to work with partner organisations to protect women through legislation, scrutiny and awareness raising. To read the full statement please click here.

Women Parliamentarians and Commonwealth High Commissioners also attended a high-level panel discussion hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House in London, UK at which the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC spoke about gender equality in the workforce and closing the gender pay gap for women in the Commonwealth. 


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 6 March 2020/CPAHQ.