Sensitizing Workshop for Leaders and Political Parties in the West Africa Sub-Region
Held by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Region on 4-10 of December, 2010 in Abuja, Nigeria
The CWP Workshop in Nigeria was an advocacy workshop for leaders of political parties in West Africa on the need for having more women representation in parliaments, cabinets and other national and Sub-national decision making bodies.
The workshop included leaders from The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and its State Legislatures and was officially opened by the First Lady of Nigeria.
Her Excellency Mrs Patience Jonathan and the Ugandan Deputy Speaker/CWP Africa Region Representative, the Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, attended the meeting, which was also graced with the presence of CWP African Chapter Convenor, the Hon. Violeth Sizani Siwela, MPL and Deputy Speaker, Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.
CWP Africa Chapter prepared a situation report outlining the number of women in Parliament for each country in the CPA Africa Region, which showed that West Africa and Nigeria in particular were falling behind in integrating women into the legislative process as some State Legislature have one or none female representatives at all.
The Workshop developed resolutions which will be presented to the President of Nigeria, who will write to all the West African Presidents encouraging them to adopt the same.
It was encouraging to note that in the advocacy seminar, CWP Africa Chapter was joined by a number of women charities holding presentations on how to increase the number of women representatives in decision making bodies.
The workshop noted with approval the inclusion of Rwanda as a new partner in the CPA family with 56% women representation in Parliament, hoping that the situation in Rwanda will be a catalyst for change in other CPA African branches.