#ChoosetoChallenge on International Women’s Day 2021
Women Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth have mobilised behind the #ChoosetoChallenge slogan to mark International Women’s Day 2021. Members of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network are joining the global campaign to challenge gender bias and inequality, to celebrate women’s achievements and to help create an inclusive world.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, the CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan) has published a #ChoosetoChallenge video message. To watch the message click here or view below.
The CWP network has 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; Cook Islands and Malaysia. Watch the full playlist on YouTube now.
In the lead up to the day, the CWP network also launched a social media campaign highlighting women Speakers of Parliament in the Commonwealth. Women are significantly under-represented in leadership positions within Parliaments, comprising only 20% of Speakers globally. The CPA is proud to have welcomed many women Speakers and Deputy Speakers to its events over the years, and a number of women Speakers have also taken on governance positions within the CPA and CWP.
On 8th March, the CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan) will speak at two International Women’s Day events. The first, ‘Raising Voices for Change’, hosted by the CPA UK Branch, is a virtual parliamentary debate bringing together women Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth. The second event, hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, will focus on the theme for International Women’s Day this year, ´Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World’.
Reflecting on how Parliamentarians of all genders can choose to challenge gender inequality, the CWP Chairperson said:
“Parliamentarians are uniquely placed to challenge gender inequality and bias. We must choose to involve women at every stage of the legislative process, we must choose to produce gender-sensitive budgets and we must choose to stand against harassment of women in public, in the workplace and online. The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians network is working to improve representation of women in elected office and build the capacity of women Parliamentarians as leaders.”
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day, first celebrated in 1911, marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network was founded in 1989 to increase the number of women 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.