12th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meetings to be held in Kenya

  • Location
  • Organisation
  • Event date
  • Posted date
Accelerating gender equality for sustainable development will top the agenda when 53 ministers for gender and women’s affairs meet in Kenya two months from today.

The Commonwealth held a briefing session to update London-based high commissions on the preparations of the 12th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting(12WAMM) on 19-20 September in Nairobi.

Delegates discussed policy papers for the event, including a key paper on accelerating gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as the Commonwealth’s annual report on gender equality.

The paper includes an ambitious declaration calling on member countries to ensure that women and girls have equal access to decision-making, quality education, affordable health services and legal protections from violence. This aligns with the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that ‘no one is left behind’.

In his welcome remarks, Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo said:     

“The Commonwealth devotes so much energy to building the capacity of women elected to parliament; helping institutions to become more gender-sensitive; and encouraging members to include a gender perspective in their work on programmes, policy and legislation.”

Women make 64 per cent of the 2.8 billion people who live on less than $2 a day, said Dr Suddhoo, urging stronger action for women’s economic empowerment.

Kenya's Principal Secretary for the State Department for Gender Affairs, Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, unveiled the meeting’s theme: ‘From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development’.

Ms Tsungu said: “Kenya offered to host the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Meeting because it will allow us to leverage lessons learned from other member countries. The meeting will help us address the systemic causes of gender inequalities like parity in education and reduce maternal mortality rates.

“The meeting will influence the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2020 and will lead to the Beijing +25 and the 2030 Agenda processes.”

Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua, head of the Commonwealth’s gender section, said: “Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres.

“With stepped up action on gender equality, we can make progress towards sustainable development by 2030, leaving no one behind.”

The 12WAMM ministerial sessions will be preceded by a civil society roundtable and a gathering for senior officials. 

Interview requests

Requests for interviews with the Secretary-General will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on her schedule and availability. Please enquire in writing to Communications Officer, Snober Abbasi at [email protected], Tel +44 20 7747 6184, Mob +44 75 4775 3669.

Note to Editors
  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states.
  • The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.
  • Thirty-one of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
  • Our shared values and principles are inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter.
  • Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

Media contact

Snober Abbasi
Communications Officer
Communications Division
Commonwealth Secretariat
T.  +44 20 7747 6184
M. +44 75 4775 3669
E. [email protected] 
Website thecommonwealth.org
Join the conversation Tweets by @commonwealthsec


More information