The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality provides the mandate within which the Commonwealth will contribute to promoting gender equality between 2005 and 2015.
20 February 2008
Since the plan was first established, governments have continued to make efforts to integrate a gender perspective into key areas that impact on development and democracy
The Commonwealth Secretariat is organising two meetings to take place on the eve of the 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. This Commission will consider ‘Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women’ as its priority theme.
The first of the two meetings, which will be held on 23 February 2008, will be attended by designated representatives of national women’s machineries (NWMs) that form the Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group (CGPMG).
This group was constituted to advise the Secretariat on the monitoring of the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality, which provides the mandate within which the Commonwealth will contribute to promoting gender equality between 2005 and 2015.
The Gender Plan of Action formed part of the Commonwealth's contribution to the UN Beijing Plus Ten review in 2005, and focuses on four critical areas for Commonwealth action: gender, democracy, peace and conflict; gender, human rights and law; gender, poverty eradication and economic empowerment; and gender and HIV/AIDS.
Following the endorsement of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework at the 8th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (8WAMM) in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2007, the principal focus of the CGPMG will be to discuss and agree a way forward on the implementation of the framework by member countries.
Other matters that will be discussed at this meeting include a briefing of the recommendations that came out of the Secretariat’s Gender Audit, and progress in the establishment of the Working Group on Gender, Peace and Security. The meeting will elect a new Chair, bringing to a close the two-year tenure by Ambassador Rosalyn Hazelle of St Kitts and Nevis.
The second meeting – the Consultation of Commonwealth National Women’s Machineries – to be held on 24 February, will focus on follow-up from the 8WAMM, a report by the CGPMG Chair, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith will chair the meeting, which will also feature a keynote address by Rachel Mayanja, the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women.
Since the plan of action was first established, governments continue to make efforts to integrate a gender perspective into key areas that impact on development and democracy throughout the Commonwealth.
The Secretariat has worked with member states on a wide range of cross-cutting issues such as legal frameworks that combat domestic and other forms of gender-based violence, the enhancement of women’s representation at all levels of the political system, and gender responsive budgets to ensure that national budgets take account of the needs of women and girls, and men and boys equally.