Parliament to host international conference on political perspectives of women


An international conference exploring the experiences of female parliamentarians and the representation of women in politics is to take place at the Scottish Parliament on Sunday 16 March.

The theme will be explored by around forty international female Parliamentarians as they attend the inaugural Conference of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Steering Committee, organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Scotland Branch.

Sessions will explore the experiences and views of the politicians gathered on the challenges facing female political candidates and serving politicians.

Speaking ahead of the event, Chair of the BIMR CWP Steering Committee Patricia Ferguson MSP said:

“This conference is bringing together female parliamentarians to look at practical ideas as to how we can promote progress towards gender balance within the political world. Importantly, we will also explore the role the media and social media can play in achieving this aim.

“I know my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament, particularly those involved in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, will be keen to hear from others outside of Scotland. When it comes to matters of equality, we have much to share as well as room to learn from our fellow Parliamentarians.”

Themes being explored within the conference include:

  • How to improve female participation in political life, including the effectiveness of 50/50 campaigns and female only lists.
  • Exploring practical ideas to support Parliaments where female representatives hold less than 20% of the seats.
  • The actions female politicians can take to ensure equality for all within their network.
  • How the media represent female politicians and positive action that might be taken to raise awareness of gender issues.


The CPA Scotland Branch is hosting an inaugural conference of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) from the British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) of the CPA.  The conference will take place on 16 March 2014.

The theme of the conference is Enhancing the Participation of Women in Politics. This conference provides an opportunity for women parliamentarians from across the BIMR and further afield to discuss issues of mutual interest that fall within the remit of the newly established BIMR CWP Group. 

The CPA Scotland Branch has invited delegates from Alderney, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland, St Helena, UK and Wales.  In addition, delegates from Namibia, Papua New Guinea and South Africa are also expected to attend the conference.

The CPA Scotland Branch Executive Committee is made up of four MSPs: Sandra White, Patricia Ferguson, Margaret Mitchell and Tavish Scott.

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