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May 31, 2022
Virtual Caribbean exchange on establishing parliamentary women’s caucuses hosted by ParlAmericas, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and UN Women Caribbean

On May 30, 2022, ParlAmericas, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), and UN Women Caribbean hosted a virtual exchange on establishing parliamentary women’s caucuses, which gathered parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from across the Caribbean region. Parliamentary women’s caucuses bring together parliamentarians committed to advancing women’s rights and gender equality to coordinate their efforts and accelerate progress. There is no set format for these groups. Rather, they can be designed to accomplish the specific goals of the individuals seeking to form the caucus, taking into consideration the national socio-political context. The meeting was organized to provide support to the many parliaments of the region who are currently in the process, or are exploring the possibility of, establishing these bodies.

The activity opened with remarks by the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George (Trinidad and Tobago), President of the House of Representatives and Vice-President of ParlAmericas, and Ms. Tonni Brodber, Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean. Afterwards, a panel of representatives from three established women’s caucuses shared their experiences establishing and maintaining their respective groups: the Honourable Alincia Williams Grant (Antigua and Barbuda), President of the Senate; the Right Honourable Maria Miller, Member of Parliament and representative of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Parliament; and the Honourable Justine Mukobwa, Member of the Chamber of Deputies and Secretary General of the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum.

Following the presentations, panellists and participants engaged in a productive dialogue where they discussed challenges encountered and good practices learned thus far from their experiences creating parliamentary women’s caucuses. Representatives from the partner organisations also highlighted resources, tools, and opportunities for assistance that could serve as ongoing supports to the parliaments of the region in these efforts. The Honourable Valerie Woods (Belize), Speaker of the House of Representatives, provided remarks to close the meeting.