The 6th Annual British Islands & Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference is being hosted in Jersey this Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September. The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) is an international network of female politicians who are members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The event is being held in Jersey as part of celebrations to mark the Island’s 100-year anniversary since women were able to vote.
The overriding theme of the event is ‘The next 100 years’, looking at how female politicians can ensure diversity and equality in Commonwealth parliaments. The conference will explore ways to ensure the voices of women are heard over the next century, especially within the political arena. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences of being a woman in politics; and discuss specific topics regarding diversity in representation, women in technology and how to build a sustainable political future.
Chair of the Institute of Directors, Charlotte Valeur, will be the keynote speaker, discussing equality for women. Charlotte was appointed as Chair of the Institute of Directors in September 2018. Originally from Copenhagen and speaking six languages, Charlotte is a specialist in corporate governance, founding and running her own advisory firm, the Global Governance Group. She is also a keen advocate for diversity in the boardroom, and is the founder of Board Apprentice a non-profit organisation which provides individuals hands-on experience at the very top of business, and has been cited in the UK Government’s recent reviews on ethnic and gender diversity in UK boardrooms as a resource for effecting real change.
Deputy Jess Perchard, who is the CWP Jersey Branch representative, says, “I was keen for Jersey to host this year’s conference during the year of our Island’s suffrage centenary celebrations. In July, my fellow female States Members and I pledged to keep fighting for equal rights and opportunities for all – not just women – and that is exactly what this year’s conference will address. Women have come a long way over the past 100 years, but they and minority groups still have a long way to go to achieve equality in the political sphere. My hope is that this conference produces measurable plans and objectives so that we can achieve true equality within the next century.”
The CWP is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1989 to increase the number of female elected representatives in parliaments across the Commonwealth and to ensure women’s issues are brought to the forefront in parliamentary debate and legislation. The CWP provides a networking opportunity for elected women to grow effectively in their roles and to include a gender perspective in all aspects of their role – legislation, oversight and representation – to help parliaments to become gender-sensitive institutions.
Attendees will travel to Jersey from across the Commonwealth, including as far afield as the Falklands and St. Helena.
States Assembly News Release.