Kampala, Uganda – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has tasked Commonwealth countries to open up more space for women participation in decision making processes especially in legislatures.
Kadaga, who doubles as the President designate of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), was opening the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference (CWP), at the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, on Monday, 23 September 2019.
The Conference, which also marks 30 years under the CPC has; ‘Achievements and unfinished business – looking forward to the next 30 years’ as the theme.
“Despite progress in the increased role of women in governance, many Commonwealth jurisdictions are still challenged with inequality, limited women representation and unequal pay,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker appealed to the CWP to guard against retrogression citing a situation in Finland where the Commonwealth had recorded success in women representation of 60 per cent and suddenly registered drastic loss in the country’s last election.
“Finland used to be one of the countries with the best representation in the world but in the last election, they collapsed. We still have to find out why,” Kadaga added.
She said there is a need for women to recruit men to understand and support them in their campaign especially when they need to make laws and require their numbers.
The Speaker added that a number of commonwealth countries have adopted international instruments and covenants adding that it was the responsibility of parliaments to make sure that the conventions are not only ratified but also domesticated.
Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Chairperson lauded the Commonwealth for steering an emancipated political system.
Monjowa who is also the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon said that gender mainstreaming remains a clear object of the Commonwealth, and decisions for inclusive participation are a great milestone.
Dr. Dato Noraini, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) appealed to the delegates to actively engage in the discussion of promotion of women to senior positions and also empower them as effective legislators.