Today, female delegates attending the 61st Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure attended a working breakfast to celebrate the 101st International Women's Day.
To mark the occasion, the Lord Speaker, Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG, hosted a breakfast for UK parliamentarians to meet with Commonwealth women parliamentarians attending the Westminster Seminar. Also at the breakfast were representatives of civil society organisations who focus on advocacy on women’s issues, including the White Ribbon Alliance and UN Women.
The day continued with a session on ‘Women in Politics and Parliament’ with Jo Swinson MP, Diane Abbott MP and Mary Macleod MP. The meeting was chaired by Ms Jinny Sims MP, a delegate at the Westminster Seminar representing the Canadian Parliament.
The session explored the practical measures entire legislatures and individual parliamentarians can take to ensure equal participation of women in parliaments in future, and a floor discussion allowed delegates to share their experiences of ongoing challenges with the panel.
Also coinciding with International Women’s Day, an Early Day Motion tabled by Miss Anne McIntosh MP and supported by 23 other Members declared that the House of Commons ‘on International Women’s Day, recognised the achievements of women throughout the world in parliaments and politics; welcomed the increasing numbers of women parliamentarians and politicians; noted, however, with concern the continuing under-representation of women in the majority of legislatures; and commended the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch with Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth parliaments to empower women parliamentarians to represent effectively women’s interests.’