CWP Conference - Workshop D - Promoting Gender-Sensitive Parliaments Post-Pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 has only shed further light on some of the difficulties women face. Gains made in the past decades towards gender equality are suddenly at increased risk of being rolled back. For many years, the responsibility of protecting and securing women’s rights and gender equality in Parliaments rested primarily on women Members of Parliament. However, in recent years, this responsibility has now shifted to Parliaments as institutions that are constituted to represent the interests of all citizens.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union defines a gender sensitive Parliament as a political institution that responds to the needs and interests of both women and men in terms of its structures, operations, methods and work. It is one that has removed the barriers to women’s full participation and offers a positive example or model to society at large. However, in order for Commonwealth Parliaments to become gender sensitive institutions, they ought to recognise the detrimental role of gender privilege and disenfranchisement, actively champion gender equality for all and acknowledge that issues such as parliamentary cultures, governing structures, facilities and institutional resources have the capacity to limit the equal participation of women and other underrepresented genders.
COVID-19 encouraged Parliaments to rethink approaches on how it can best conduct its business and adapt its way of working. Now, Parliaments have the opportunity to take stock and learn from both challenges and successes they have achieved during the pandemic in order to make an informed decision about what to do next or better post-pandemic.
This workshop will look to help Parliaments and Parliamentarians recognise the importance of being a gender sensitive institution. The session will also look to highlight recommended appropriate actions whilst also allowing attendees to learn from the experiences and practices of other Parliaments in their pursuit of becoming gender sensitive institutions. It will also look focus on lessons learnt from the global pandemic and how they have presented opportunities towards establishing a gender sensitive Parliament.
The Workshop will comprise of a panel discussion and will conclude with a Q&A session.
To browse the workshop reading list, read the draft recommendation and submit a feedback form, visit: