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Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting

Friday, June 15, 2007

Meg recently represented the UK at the Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Following two days of discussion the meeting reached a number of conclusions on the importance of increasing investment in gender equality. The content of the meeting was summarised in a document called the Kampala Communiqu?.

 

The current situation of many women in Commonwealth countries was discussed. Key statistics are that:

  • only five out of the 53 countries have achieved 30% representation of women in national parliament,  
  • 30 million children are not in primary school, the majority being girls,
  • 60% of HIV and AIDS cases globally are in the Commonwealth, and a growing proportion are women and girls,
  • 300,000 maternal deaths per annum, and
  • some Commonwealth countries are amongst those with the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. 

Ministers’ conclusions included:

  • the importance of developing indicators for tracking the money that is being allocated by governments and donors for gender equality and women’s empowerment,
  • the need to develop and enhance capacity for the implementation of gender responsive budgets,
  • gender audits and impact assessment must be undertaken,  
  • the need to build women’s capacity to access markets, develop products and create an enabling environment for women to scale up their businesses to enter global markets, and
  • the critical role of micro-finance and innovative financing for women’s empowerment.  

Meg took part in the press conference after the conference where the full communiqu? was shared with local and national media. She is pictured with Mr. Ransford Smith, Deputy General Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Chair of the Conference, the Hon Syda Bbumba, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Republic of Uganda.

 

For the full text of the communiqu? click on the following link: http://www.thecommonwealth.org/document/34293/35232/165524/8wammkampala_communique.htm

 

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