C’wealth African women MPs want more say

KIGALI - Increasing the number of women representation in legislative bodies within the African Commonwealth region is on the agenda of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) as they meet in Kigali.Rebecca Kadaga, the African CWP Chairperson, said this yesterday after a meeting of the sub-committee of the African region, at parliamentary buildings.
Rebecca Kadaga,(c) the Speaker of Uganda's Parliament, chats with MPs Connie Bwiza (L), and Julliana Kantengwa (Photo T.Kisambira)
Rebecca Kadaga,(c) the Speaker of Uganda's Parliament, chats with MPs Connie Bwiza (L), and Julliana Kantengwa (Photo T.Kisambira)

KIGALI - Increasing the number of women representation in legislative bodies within the African Commonwealth region is on the agenda of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) as they meet in Kigali.

Rebecca Kadaga, the African CWP Chairperson, said this yesterday after a meeting of the sub-committee of the African region, at parliamentary buildings.

“Part of what we have to do here is to report on the implementation of our strategic plan,” Kadaga told The New Times.

“Among the core activities of this strategic plan is to increase the representation of women in the legislatures in the African Commonwealth region,” said Kadaga, who is also Uganda’s parliamentary Speaker.

She noted that in December 2010, the CWP conducted a pilot project in Nigeria, where they met political party leaders from West Africa.

“We are going to report on the progress in the first workshop in Nigeria. We are going to report what we have accomplished in the last six months”.

The group plans a similar leadership advocacy workshop in Kenya, in the near future.

Leaders from Seychelles, Mauritius and Kenya, will be invited because these countries are still “lagging behind in representation of women.”

Progress in East Africa

Rwanda’s record-breaking Parliament has 56 percent women representation, in addition to a female Speaker.

The African CWP Chairperson observed that there is progress in the rest of the East African region.

“The Ugandan cabinet now stands at 28 percent women, from 17 percent. Membership of Parliament has increased, from 31 to 35 percent. That’s one of the success stories,” Kadaga said.

“In Tanzania, we also have a lady Speaker, and Tanzania’s women representation is at 43 percent. So, that’s progress within the East African region”.

The 42nd annual conference of the Africa Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is expected to bring together over 300 guests.

During the symposium, the Rwandan parliament is expected to be welcomed into the African CPA, following Rwandan’s admission to the commonwealth club in 2009.

Ends

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