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 Geneva, 28 August 2014IPU Logo-bottom

Women parliamentary leaders focus on women's economic empowerment

Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament will be participating at the 9th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament. Women hold an unprecedented 64% of seats in Rwanda’s parliament. ©Rwandan Parliament

Women Speakers of Parliament will identify ways they can lead efforts in the economic empowerment of women across the world during a two-day gathering in Geneva on 4-5 September. The Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament, the ninth of its kind, is a unique annual gathering organized by IPU. It brings together the most senior women parliamentary leaders to find ways to address gender issues of national and international interest. Sixteen national and regional parliaments from Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe will be attending the 2014 meeting. Currently women Speakers make up less than 15 per cent of all Speakers of Parliament in the world. Held at IPU headquarters in Geneva, the meeting will look at how women Speakers can take a lead in building a social, cultural and legal environment conducive to the economic empowerment of women, including having national budgets and policies that take into account women’s needs.

“Economic empowerment of women is critical to successful global development and to the protection of women’s rights. This meeting has the potential to give real impetus to efforts by women political leaders to take meaningful and far-reaching action that will not only change the lives of women everywhere, but society as a whole,” says IPU President Abdelwahad Radi. Participants will cover issues such as developing gender-sensitive labour laws, securing access to and control over economic assets, ending women’s economic exploitation as well as addressing violence against women at work. As the most powerful female political leaders in national and regional parliaments, women Speakers also have a critical role in helping to overcome barriers for women in decision-making.

With UN member states to adopt a new sustainable development agenda next year that will very likely have a gender goal, the involvement of parliaments and Speakers in the oversight of national development plans will be key to any success. The new development agenda will also be the focus of the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament being organized by IPU in 2015. Conclusions reached during the 9th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament will feed into deliberations at the global Speakers conference.

Please find further details on the event at out dedicated page

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The global organization of parliaments, IPU works to establish democracy, peace and cooperation among peoples. The world’s oldest international political organization, established in 1889, IPU is the focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue. It brings together 164 member Parliaments and ten associate regional assemblies.

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