Kampala, Uganda – Shandana Gulzar Khan, the Pakistan’s Federal Parliamentary Commerce Secretary is the new chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP). She replaces Malaysia’s Dr. Dato Noraini who has been CWP Chairperson since 2016.
Shandana was announced winner on Tuesday following a vote at the ongoing 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) at Speke Resort Munyonyo. She garnered 48 votes beating her competitor Tara Rivers, the Cayman Islands Financial Services Minister who managed 34 votes.
In her campaign speech, Shandana pledged to work towards uplifting the economic lives of commonwealth women as well as focus on reducing the gender gaps in all aspects. Shandana revealed that in her native village, she was the first girl child to go to school, saying that if it wasn’t for her mother, many women wouldn’t have gone to school. She is to serve for the next 3 years.
The Ugandan Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said that the CWP expects Shandana to continue mobilizing governments to facilitate women to get to Parliament and if necessary amend their Constitutions for the good of women.
Kadaga, who described the voting exercise as a good thing, said that Shandana has massive support although 14 people didn’t vote due to their absence from the Conference.
Uganda’s Nakaseke South MP Syda Bbumba who is this year’s President of the CWP said that they expect Shandana to work for a conducive environment for legislators and push governments to finance election of women.
– Shandana –
Shandana Gulzar Khan is a lawyer with experience in international trade and economic law advocacy. In Pakistan, where she comes from, Shandana has sponsored five Bills on human rights and women empowerment.
Africa Tembelea has also learnt that she has worked on economic rehabilitation of abandoned post-incarceration females as well as trained different women on international trade policy and development.
– CWP –
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) was founded in 1989 by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) as a network for women Members of Parliament to advocate for representation and maintenance of gender equality. The CWP provides means of building the capacity of women parliamentarians, improving awareness and encouraging the inclusion of gender perspective in different aspects.